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Contributions to 
Circumpolar Anthropology 1 
National Museum of Natural History 
Smithsonian Institution 


(3 a t e w a u 5 

Exploring the ]_egacij o f the J 
North pacific E-Xpedition, 1 5 1 ^02 

Igor Krupnik and 

William W.Fitzhugh, editors 


Exploring the Legacy of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition 
1 897-1 902 

1 / Jochelson's caravan of reindeer sleds crossing the Verkhoyansk Mountain Range, Siberia, winter 1 902 
(AMNH 1 749) 

Explof"'f^g the Legacy of the Jesup 

North f acific Expedition, 1 65^/-] 5>02 



Published by the 

Arctic Studies Center, 

National Museum of Natural History, 

Smithsonian Institution 

Washington, D.C. 

6' 3 5 

r " .7 

© 2001 by the Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution 
Washington, D.C. 20560-01 12 
All rights reserved 

Printed in the United States of America 

ISBN 0-9673429-1-0 


'^The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information 
Sciences— Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials. 

Early versions of the papers in this volume were presented at the 92nd meeting of the American Anthropological 
Association, Washington D.C, 1993. 

Technical editor: Nancy Levine 

Cover and volume design: Anya Vinokour 

Production editor: Elisabeth Ward 

Printed by United Book Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD 

This publication is Volume 1 in the Arctic Studies Center series. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology. 

Front Cover: Siberian Yupik (Eskimo) girls dancing in the village of Ungazik (Indian Point), Chukotka, Siberia, Spring 
1 901 . Waldemar Bogoras, photographer (AMNH 1 344) 

Bac/c Cover. Skidegate, a Haida village, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, 1900. John Swanton, photographer 
(AMNH 330387) 








List of Figures 

Note on Cyrillic Transliteration 

William W. Fitzhugh and Igor Krupnik 

Franz Boas 

Igor Krupnik 

part On& 

The Expedition 



Douglas Cole 

1 895-1 900 
Nikolai Vakhtin 

part ~]~wo 

The Collectors 


Michael Harkin 


Barbara Mathe and Thomas R. Miller 


Brian Thom 




Judith Berman 

part ~]~lir 

e e 

The Resources 


Sergei Kan 


Steven Ousley and Richard Jantz 

Richard Keeling 



Paula Willey 


Igor Krupnik 




Judith Berman is a research associate in the Ameri- 
can Section, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Ar- 
chaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. Her vari- 
ous publications, as well as her Ph.D. thesis "The Seals' 
Sleeping Cave: The Interpretation of Boas' Kwak'wala 
Texts", examine the legacy of Kwakwaka'wakw re- 
search and publications by Franz Boas and George 
Hunt, the significance of the Boas-Hunt cooperation, 
and aspects of the Kwak'wala language and folklore. 

Douglas Cole (1938-97) was professor of his- 
tory at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C. He was 
known for his numerous writings on the contact his- 
tory of the Native peoples of the Northwest Coast, on 
scientific exploration and museum collecting in British 
Columbia, and on art and literature in Canadian colo- 
nial society. His most influential contributions to North 
Pacific anthropology include three major volumes: Cap- 
tured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast Ar- 
tifacts (1 985); An Iron Hand upon the People: The Law 
against the Potlatch on the Northwest Coast (1 990, 
co-authored with Ira Chaikin); and Franz Boas: The Early 
Years, /SSS-/ 906 (published posthumously in 1999). 

William W. Fitzhugh is director of the Arctic Stud- 
ies Center and curator at the Department of Anthro- 
pology, National Museum of Natural History, 
Smithsonian Institution. He has spent almost 30 years 
studying circumpolar archaeology and publishing on 
Arctic peoples and cultures in Canada, Alaska, Siberia, 
and Scandinavia. Special interests include prehistory 
and environmental archaeology, circumpolar maritime 
adaptations, and culture contacts. At the Smithsonian, 

he has produced several exhibits that resulted in ma- 
jor catalog volumes, such as Inua: The Spirit World of 
the Bering Sea Eskimo; Crossroads of Continents: Cul- 
tures of Siberia and Alaska; Ainu: Spirit of a Northern 
People; and Vikings. The North Atlantic Saga. 

Michael Harkin is associate professor of anthro- 
pology and American Indian studies at the University 
of Wyoming. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthro- 
pology from the University of Chicago and has taught 
at Emory University and Montana State University. He 
is the author of The Heiltsuks: Dialogues of Culture and 
History on the Northwest Coast (1 997). 

Richard Jantz is a professor in the Department of 
Anthropology and director of the Forensic Anthropol- 
ogy Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 
He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. His 
research interests are ancient and modern human quan- 
titative variation in anthropometrics, dermatoglyphics, 
and skeletal morphometries. 

Sergei Kan is professor of anthropology and Na- 
tive American studies at Dartmouth College, Hanover, 
N.H. Most of his publications, including his recent book 
Memory Eternal (1 999), deal with the Tlingit Indians' 
culture and the history of Russian Orthodox Christian- 
ity among Native people in southeastern Alaska. Re- 
cently he has been working on a new book on Russian 
anthropologist Lev Shternberg that will cover 
Shternberg's life, his public and scholarly career, and 
his relationships with Franz Boas, Waldemar Bogoras, 
Waldemar Jochelson, and other members of the Jesup 
Expedition project. 

Richard Keeling, formerly with the University of 
California, Los Angeles, worked for several years on 
documenting and analyzing early recordings of tradi- 
tional Native American music, primarily of native groups 
of northern California. He has published several papers 
on Yurok, Hupa, and Karok music as well as an exten- 
sive annotated catalog of music and voice recordings 
collected between 1900 and 1938, A Guide to Early 
Field Recordings (1900-1949) at tlie Lowie Museum 
of Anthropology 991 ). He now lives in the Bay Area. 

Igor Krupnik is an ethnologist at the Arctic Stud- 
ies Center, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Born 
and educated in Russia, he has done extensive field- 
work among the Siberian Yupik people in the Bering 
Strait area, in the Russian Far East, and recently in Alaska. 
He is currently coordinator of various international 
projects studying the impacts of global climate change 
and the preservation of the cultural heritage and eco- 
logical knowledge of Native peoples. He has published 
and co-authored several books and catalogs, and he 
writes extensively on Arctic Native peoples. Native heri- 
tage resources, modernization, and minority issues. 

Barbara Mathe is senior Special Collections li- 
brarian at the American Museum of Natural History in 
New York. In 1 997 she co-curated (with Thomas Miller) 
the Jesup Centenary Exhibition at the AMNH, Drawing 
Shadows to Stone: Photographing North Pacific 
Peoples, 1897-1902. She is currently working on a 
book of photographs of the anthropological exhibi- 
tions at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1 904. 

Thomas R. Miller is a doctoral candidate in an- 
thropology at Columbia University. His Ph.D. disserta- 
tion, "Songs from the House of the Dead," explores the 
role of the early phonograph in the history of muse- 
ums and anthropology through a study of shamans' 
songs recorded by Franz Boas, James Teit, Waldemar 
Jochelson, Waldemar Bogoras, and others, during the 
Jesup Expedition and beyond. He worked for several 
years with the Asian ethnographic collections at the 
AMNH in New York, including the original collections 
of the Jesup Expedition. In 1997, he was a guest cura- 

tor (with Barbara Mathe) of the Jesup Centennial Exhibit 
Drawing Shadows to Stone at the AMNH. 

Stephen Ousley is the director of the Repatria- 
tion Osteology Laboratory in the Department of An- 
thropology, National Museum of Natural History, 
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. He received 
his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 
His research interests include the history of anthropol- 
ogy, morphometries, quantitative genetics, and foren- 
sic anthropology. 

Brian Thorn is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology 
at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. His M.A. thesis 
at the University of British Columbia (1995) was fo- 
cused on the history of archaeological excavation of 
burial mounds and cairns along the Northwest Coast. 
He worked for several years with Coast Salish com- 
munities in British Columbia on the problem of aborigi- 
nal titles to land and cultural resources. 

Nikolai Vakhtin is a professor at the European 
University, St. Petersburg, Russia. He teaches courses 
in field linguistics, sociolinguistics, and the cultural an- 
thropology of Siberia. He received his Ph.D. (1 977) and 
full doctorate (1 993) in Siberian Yupik linguistics from 
the Institute of Linguistic Studies of the Russian Acad- 
emy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. He has done exten- 
sive research in Native languages and modern culture 
change among the minority peoples of northern Rus- 
sia, including the Yupik, Aleut, Chukchi, and Yukagir. He 
has written several books and over 80 articles on the 
languages and cultures of the northern indigenous 
peoples of Siberia. 

Paula Willey is currently a project manager for 
Gallery Systems, a provider of collections management 
software for museums, galleries, and private collec- 
tions. Previously, she worked at the AMNH Library as 
Special Collections manager. 

Saskia Wrausmann is a undergraduate student 
at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va. 
Her primary interests are in cultural and biological an- 
thropology. In 2000 and 2001 interned at the Arctic 
Studies Center. She is fluent in German and French. 


ist of fiP:ure5 

1. Jochelson's caravan of reindeer sleds crossing the Verkhoyansk Mountain Range, Siberia. 1902 ii 

2. The Jochelsons' team with the expedition boat at Kolyma River, Siberia, 1901 xii 

3. Field of Proposed Operations of thejesup North Pacific Expedition, 1 898 xvi 

4. Camp of the Reindeer Koryak and herd of reindeer, with the Jochelsons' tent in the middle 26 

5. Franz Boas, 1858-1942 49 

6. Morris K.Jesup, 1838-1908 49 

7. Waldemar Bogoras, N.G. Buxton, and Waldemar Jochelson before departure to Siberia, 1900 50 

8. Dina Jochelson-Brodsky and Waldemar Jochelson before the Jesup Expedition, Spring 1 899 51 

9. Franz Boas posing for exhibit group 52 

10. Jochelson's team rafting down the Korkodon River, Siberia, Fall 1901 53 

1 1 . Waldemar Bogoras with his native guides on the Kolyma River, Siberia, 1 895 54 
1 2. Waldemar and Sofia Bogoras, with Expedition freight at Mariinsky Post, Siberia, 1 901 55 

13. Dina Jochelson-Brodsky, 1862-1941 56 

1 4. Dina and Waldemar Jochelson in their field tent in Eastern Siberia, ca. 1 896 57 
1 5. Dina Jochelson-Brodsky emerging from native sod-covered hut, Summer 1900 58 
1 6. Waldemar Bogoras and his native guides in Chukotka. Spring 1 901 58 
1 7. Bogoras and his guides preparing for winter sled trip. Spring 1 901 59 
1 8. Bogoras and Russian Cossacks on the Anadyr River, Summer 1 900 59 
1 9. James Teit and his wife Lucy Antko 60 

20. George Hunt and his wife Ttaflatawidzannga, at Beaver Harbour, British Columbia 61 

21 . N.G. Buxton in Gizhiga, Siberia, flanked by the local Russian officer and his secretary. Spring 1901 62 

22. Harlan I. Smith during his excavations at the Great Eraser Midden, Eburne, British Columbia 63 

23. Dina Jochelson-Brodsky and native guides in field camp among the Reindeer Koryak, 1901 64 

24. Kwakwaka'wakw woman poses for museum life group, as Boas and Hunt hold backdrop 90 

25. Kwazi'nik, a Niaka'pamux woman, 1897 106 

26. The photographer's figure, his camera, and tripod reflected in the eye of Kwazi'nik 1 1 3 

27. Typical "physical type" photographs from the Jesup Expedition, Siberia, 1900 114-115 

28. First of two photos depicting the Kwakwaka'wakw potlatch at Fort Rupert, 1 898 1 16 

29. Second photo of the same Kwakwaka'wakw potlatch ceremony 1 1 7 

30. Sketches of facial paintings of the Niaka'pamux (Thompson Indians) 118 

31. Yukagir shaman's coat from thejesup Expedition collections being modeled for camera 1 18 
32-33. Yukagir shaman in full costume, photographed for a mannequin-style museum display 119 

34. A grave marker in the form of a carved wooden "copper," Fort Rupert, British Columbia 1 20 

35. Native woman in traditional deerskin clothing, with a little girl, 1 897 121 

36. Secwepemc (Shuswap) woman in traditional clothing posing for a root-digging scene 122 

i X 

37. Emma Simon, a Niaka'pamux (Thompson) woman, posing for a staged life-scene photo 123 

38. Niaka'pamux life group at AMNH based on staged photographs from the Jesup Expedition 123 

39. Miniature diorama of the Koryak winter settlement based on the Jesup Expedition 124 

40. Koryak hunters dragging killed white whale on sledge, Spring 1901 125 

41 . Koryak men posing for a "dog-offering" ceremony, Siberia, 1 901 125 

42. Chief Petit Louis (HIi Kleh Kan) of the Kamloops Band, Secwepemc (Shuswap) nation 126 

43. Haida painting of a bear, illustrating "split representation" 127 

44. Yupik (Siberian Eskimo) man from the village of Ungazik (Indian Point), Siberia, 1 901 1 28 

45. Map of locations visited by Harlan I. Smith during the Jesup Expedition, 1 897-99 161 
46-47. Smith's burial excavation at Kamloops, Thompson River area, British Columbia, 1 897 162 

48. Archille James, age 1 9, from Katzie, British Columbia, 1 897 164 

49. House post collected by Smith at Musqueam, British Columbia, 1898 163 

50. Crave post, called "Laxktot," Comox, British Columbia, 1898 165 

51 . Salish burial ground, Nicola Valley, British Columbia, 1 899 166 

52. Map of the Kwakwaka'wakw area 167 

53. Sketch of K'odi's copper by George Hunt 168 

54. Site plan of Fort Rupert (Tsaxis) as it was ca. 1 865. Drawing by George Hunt, 1919 1 69 

55. Fort Rupert asaxis) beforel 865 * 1 70-71 

56. Watercolor of Fort Rupert, May 8, 1 866 1 72 

57. Fort Rupert (Tsaxis), 1 881 173 

58. Map of Clio Channel showing Kwakwaka'wakw historical villages, ca. 1 840 1 74 

59. Killer whale mask * 175 

60. Tlingit seal bowl * 1 76 

61 . Jesup Expedition collections displayed at the American Museum of Natural History, 1 905 214 

62. Lev Shternberg conducting a census among the Sakhalin Island Nivkh (Gilyak), ca.l 895 249 

63. Staff of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, St. Petersburg, including Lev 


Shternberg, Vasily Radloff, Sarra Ratner-Shternberg, and Waldemar Jochelson 249 


64. Lev Shternberg and Sarra Ratner-Shternberg 250 

65. Lev Shternberg in 1924 251 
66-67. Front and back of JNPE North American anthropometric data sheet filled in by Boas, 1 897 252-53 
68-69. Front and back of JNPE Siberian anthropometric data sheet filled in by Jochelson, 1901 254-55 

70. Use of the Edison phonograph for sound recording, Mariinsky Post, Siberia, 1900 256 

71 . Map indicating location of groups measured during the Jesup Expedition 261 

72. Canonical analysis of Native Siberians and Aleut measured during the JNPE and Riabushinski Expeditions 269 

73. Dendrogram of Siberian and Aleut anthropometric samples 2 70 

74. North Pacific canonical distribution plot 2 71 

75. Dendrogram of populations measured during the JNPE and the Riabushinski Expedition 272 

76. Notation of song sung by a Koryak female shaman. Recorded by Waldemar Jochelson, 1 900 281 

77. Notation for a song sung by a Koryak male shaman. Recorded by Waldemar Jochelson, 1900 282 

78. Notation for a song sung by a Tungus male shaman. Recorded by Waldemar Jochelson, 1901 282 

79. Notation of a song sung by a Yupik Eskimo man. Recorded by Waldemar Bogoras, 1901 283 

Note: All photographs (unless marked by an asterik above) are courtesy Department of Library Services, 
American Museum of Natural History. Maps were produced by Marcia Bakry, National Museum of Natural 
History. Other figures were provided by the respective authors and are separately credited. 



AAA American Anthropological Association 

AAAS American Association for the Advance- 

ment of Science 

AAN Arkhiv Akademii Nauk (Archives of the 

Russian Academy of Sciences) 

AFC American Folklife Center, Library of 

Congress, Washington, DC 

AMNH American Museum of Natural History, New 

AMNH-DA American Museum of Natural History, 
Department of Anthropology 

AMNH-L American Museum of Natural History, 
Library, Special Collections Division 

APS American Philosophical Society, 


APS-C American Philosophical Society, Franz 
Boas Professional Correspondence 

ATM Archives for Traditional Music, Indiana 

University, Bloomington 

BAAS British Association for the Advancement 

of Science 

BAE Bureau of American Ethnology, 

Washington, D.C. 
CUL Columbia University Library, Rare Books 

and Manuscripts, New York 
HBC Hudson's Bay Company 

HBCA Hudson's Bay Company Archives, 

Winnepeg, Manitoba 
HUA Harvard University Archives, Boston 

lASSA International Arctic Social Sciences 


InV-JC Institut Vostokovedeniia (Institute of 

Oriental Studies), St. Petersburg, Waldemar 
Jochelson Collection 

JNPE Jesup North Pacific Expedition 

MAE Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology 

and Ethnography, St. Petersburg 

MJC Melville Jacobs Collection, University of 

Washington, Seattle 

NAA-BAE National Anthropological Archives, 
Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ameri- 
can Ethnology Collection 

NMNH National Museum of Natural History, 

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 

NYPL New York Public Library, New York 

RAS-B Russian Academy of Sciences, 

Archives, St. Petersburg Branch, 
Waldemar Bogoras Collection 

RAS-F Russian Academy of Sciences, Archives, 

St. Petersburg Branch, Fonoteka (Pho- 
nographic Collection) 

RAS-J Russian Academy of Sciences, Archives, 

St. Petersburg Branch, Waldemar 
Jochelson Collection 

RAS-S Russian Academy of Sciences, Archives, 

St. Petersburg Branch, Lev Shternberg 

SI Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 

2/ The Jochelsons' team with the expedition boat at the Kolyma River, Siberia, 1 901 (AlVlNH 1 679) 

X i i 


This book, Gateways: Exploring the Legacy of the Jesup 
North Pacific Expedition, 1 897-1 902, honors 
anthropology's most prominent founding father, Franz 
Boas. It follows the historical trails of Boas' first (and 
last) attempt to produce a comprehensive and synthetic 
panorama of native cultures of the North Pacific Rim. 
As part of a decade-long retrospective of Boas' signa- 
ture contribution to the science of anthropology and 
to the construction of a regional culture history, this 
book has been an academic exploration through space 
and time. 

Our involvement with the Jesup Expedition began 
in the 1 980s when our team at the Smithsonian's Na- 
tional Museum of Natural History was working on the 
exhibit Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and 
Alaska and its accompanying catalog (published! 988). 
Inevitably, the Crossroads project looked both to the 
past and the future, since it explored the history and 
prospects of both the peoples of the North Pacific and 
the discipline of anthropology. The central issue for 
Boas in the 1 890s, as for our team in the 1 980s, was 
whether contemporary anthropology could answer the 
fundamental questions about the origins and history 
of Native Americans and their relationships to Siberian 
peoples and cultures. To Boas, the traditional disci- 
plines of history and anthropology of his time seemed 
inadequate for the task, as there was neither written 
history for the North Pacific prior to the 1 740s nor a 
competent ethnography, archaeology, folklore, or lin- 
guistics for most of the Native nations in the area. 

In the early 1990s, as the centennial of the Jesup 
North Pacific Expedition (1 897-1 902) was approach- 
ing, we anticipated the opportunity to reopen the ques- 
tions posed at the start of this early anthropological 
rite of passage in the North Pacific. New perspectives 
based on a full century of advances in anthropological 
methods and theory could be combined with hopes for 
a new political geography. This would allow trans- 
Beringian research and cultural exchange to commence 
after decades of denial. We hoped that new scholarship 
and rapprochement might lead to a reevaluation and 
renewal of Boas' goals for the Jesup Expedition. With 
some temerity, we decided to give an appropriate name 
to the undertaking and called it "Jesup 2." We orga- 
nized a session on the subject in 1 992 at the First 
Congress of the International Arctic Social Sciences 
Association (lASSA) in Quebec, which was itself a crea- 
ture of the new detente between East and West. And we 
proposed there a neo-Boasian effort to take up the 
task of North Pacific anthropology and culture history 
more or less where Boas and his Russian, German, Ameri- 
can, and Canadian colleagues had left it when their 
careers and lives expired in the 1930s-1940s. 

This volume represents one of the several tributar- 
ies of the Jesup 2 stream that we imagined might flow 
from the resurgence of North Pacific cultural studies. 
Originally the plan was crafted for a panel discussion 
organized at the 1 993 American Anthropological As- 
sociation meetings held in Washington, D.C. At that 
session we intended to explore new perspectives on 


the original Jesup Expedition through the study of its 
record of unpublished manuscript materials, photo- 
graphs, personal papers, notes, and ledgers, from col- 
lections in both Russia and North America. Many of 
these documents were not available to the original 
expedition team (or its successors), and they add mea- 
surably to our understanding of their efforts, as well as 
to what did not get accomplished. We also felt that a 
thorough reevaluation of the Jesup Expedition legacy 
would serve as added mortar to the scholarly struc- 
ture we hoped would be soon forthcoming. 

As it has turned out, the opportunities for a coordi- 
nated Jesup 2 program produced some pleasant sur- 
prises. Through much hard work we were able to en- 
gage a new group of curators and institutions in Alaska 
and the Russian Far East to produce a smaller version 
of the Crossroads exhibit. It traveled to rural Alaska 
and the Russian Amur-Sakhalin region, spreading its 
message of cultural exchange and cooperation to the 
peoples responsible for these cultures in the first place. 
Another surprising development was the opportunity 
to produce a major exhibition on the Ainu people, one 
of the cultures targeted by Boas for the Jesup Expedi- 
tion. As it happened, very little ethnographic work on 
the Ainu was accomplished during the expedition, and 
their exclusion from its collections and publications 
resulted in an ambiguous status for this culture as a 
North Pacific people for the remainder of the 20th cen- 
tury. Fortunately we found a way to correct this defi- 
ciency in 1 999 through a special exhibition, Ainu: Spirit 

of a Northern People, and a book featuring this culture 
and its history and art. 

In addition to such opportune windfalls, we also 
found our Jesup 2 voyage marked by unanticipated 
shoals and navigational hazards. Wiser heads from the 
1 992 lASSA meeting were right to caution us about 
planning such an optimistic program in the absence of 
a Smithsonian "Morris Jesup," or some suitable institu- 
tional or philanthropic replacement to sponsor new re- 
search and publications, and we have had to refocus 
and adapt. I would like to thank all those people and 
institutions who have contributed by participating as 
symposia and panel members, correspondents, con- 
tributors, and supportive bystanders in our various ef- 
forts of the past decade to forward the Boasian goal 
of a more integrated and inclusive North Pacific an- 
thropology. Although it has not been possible so far 
to launch a multi-institutionally, orchestrated centen- 
nial Jesup 2 program, many elements of this concept 
are nevertheless moving forward in the broader inter- 
national anthropological community. We can, belat- 
edly and with only slightly chastened optimism, re- 
port progress on many fronts, as reported in the fol- 
lowing Introduction. Not the least of these advances 
is the current volume, which suffered several untimely 
publication setbacks before reaching this happy con- 
clusion. Though Boas' team made little use of written 
history in its "Jesup 1 " project, it is proving an invalu- 
able component of the "Jesup 2" effort some one hun- 
dred years later. 

William W. Fitzhugh, Director 
Arctic Studies Center 

X I V 

note on Cmh \c 

Two coexisting systems are in use in the United States 
for transliterating Russian Cyrillic letters into English: 
that of the Library of Congress (LC), and that of the 
National Image and Mapping Agency (NIMA, formerly 
the U.S. Board of Geographic Names). The LC system is 
used for bibliographic references; the NIMA system ap- 
plies to geographic names (place names) and to most 
ethnic names. 

All Russian or Siberian geographic names are 
transliterated here according to the NIMA system, 
which uses ya, yu, and yo for Cyrillic /o, and e 
(Yakutsk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, etc.). Throughout this 
volume, Native Siberian ethnic names are transliter- 
ated in accordance with the Peoples of the Soviet 
Union map produced by the National Geographic 
Society in 1989, which basically adheres to the 
NIMA system (Yakut, Yukagir, Koryak, Nanay, etc.). 
Most of these ethnic names are already established 
in Western anthropological literature— thanks largely 
to the Jesup Expedition's pioneering publications. 
This system also results in names reminiscent of sev- 
eral Native American group titles familiar to North 
American readers: Yurok, Maya, Yup'ik, Eyak, Yokut, 
Yakutat, Tlingit, and so on. Furthermore, the NIMA- 
based spelling of ethnic and geographic names is 
similar to the Russian/Cyrillic transliteration system 
adopted in England and Canada and to the one com- 
monly used by modern Russian authors when writ- 
ing papers in English. The NIMA-based system is also 
applied here for transliterating a few Russian or 

Native Siberian personal names, words, and ethno- 
graphic terms in individual papers. 

In contrast to the NIMA system, the Library of Con- 
gress transliteration system uses ia, in, and io for the 
Cyrillic >7, /oand eand an apostrophe for the Russian 
soft sign (b). Because today's highly standardized elec- 
tronic library catalog formats are based on the LC sys- 
tem, names of Russian authors and all titles of items in 
the bibliographic reference sections in this volume 
adhere to the LC system. Using two transliteration sys- 
tems in a single book may be inconvenient, but every 
effort has been made to adhere strictly to each of these 
patterns in its designated application in order to estab- 
lish a high level of consistency for all future Arctic 
Studies Center publications. For the convenience of 
readers, an alternative NIMA-based transliteration of 
Russian authors' names is sometimes provided in pa- 
rentheses in those cases where such a pattern has been 
established by earlier publications (for example, the 
original Jesup Expedition series, Antliropology of the 
North: Translations from Russian Sources). Despite all 
our efforts, we may not have been able to eliminate all 
potential cases of confusion or the occasional idio- 
syncratic usage. 

We are grateful to our colleagues Pavel llyin (U.S. 
Holocaust Museum), Michael Krauss (Alaska Native Lan- 
guage Center, University of Alaska), and Marjorie 
Mandelstam Balzer (editor. Anthropology and Arche- 
ology of Eurasia) for their advice on transliteration prac- 
tices for ASC publications. 

x V 

1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 

3/ Field of Proposed Operations of thejesup Nortli Pacific Expedition, 1 898 (adapted from American Museum of Natural History. Annual 
Report of the President for the Year 1 897) 




Ever since the European discovery of America, the ques- 
tion of the origins and history of Native Americans has 
been a subject of ardent public interest and scholarly 
debate. Theories of Asian origins, first advanced by 
Jose de Acosta in 1 598, remained eclipsed for centu- 
ries by Eurocentric theories of Phoenician, Egyptian, or 
Celtic migrations across the Atlantic. But with the emer- 
gence of academic anthropology in the late 1 9th cen- 
tury, the idea of an Asian/Siberian route to the Ameri- 
cas prevailed and was elaborated into major research 
initiatives. Of these, the most crucial was the jesup 
North Pacific Expedition (1 897-1 902), the first, and as 
yet the most coordinated, single study ever under- 
taken of the peoples and cultures of the North Pacific 

Throughout most of the 20th century, politics has 
been the most difficult stumbling block for trans-North 
Pacific scholarship. Although Asia and North America 
are clearly visible from each other's shores at the Bering 
Strait, during most of the 20th century this narrow 56- 
mile waterway was both a symbolic ideological bar- 
rier and a bristling frontier of military and political con- 
frontation. The struggle not only separated Native fami- 
lies from their relatives across the Bering Strait; it also 
had a crushing effect on scholarly cooperation. Previ- 
ous experience demonstrates that meaningful research 
in the North Pacific requires active international col- 
laboration between American, Canadian, Russian, Eu- 
ropean, and Japanese scientists. Such research expands 
dramatically with open communication, including data 

exchanges and comparative study, and it progresses 
best within a framework of multidisciplinary perspec- 
tives and close linkages between the social and natu- 
ral sciences. 

Anthropological research conducted by partici- 
pants in the Jesup Expedition between 1 897 and 1 902 
began with these principles in mind. After many de- 
cades of embargoed communications and stifled schol- 
arship, we now may reexplore the opportunities that 
were originally pioneered bythejesup Expedition team. 

This volume is an outgrowth of such an attempt to 
pursue the study of peoples and cultures across the 
North Pacific area a full century after the Jesup Expedi- 
tion crews were sent to the Northwest Coast of North 
America and the shores of Siberia. This new initiative is 
called Jesup 2 in honor of its predecessor and because 
it follows in the steps of the original Jesup Expedition 
surveys and publications. With borders reopening and 
exchange resumed, the time may be opportune for 
new research and partnerships. If history and current 
trends are a guide, the 2 1 st century will bring renewed 
life and importance to the Alaskan-Siberian crossroads, 
a region that has been a breeding ground for cultural 
development and intercontinental human links for thou- 
sands of years. 

Shared Lands, Common History 

The Greater North Pacific Region has special impor- 
tance in the study of Native American and Siberian 
cultures. As far as is known, the Bering Strait was 


the major (if not the only) proven entryway for move- 
ments of human populations from the Old into the 
New World before A.D. 1 500, and it has been host to 
many subsequent Asian-American interactions. For this 
reason, the vast region around the Bering Strait is usu- 
ally called "Beringia," and it has a very special impor- 
tance for the culture history of the Americas. 

During the Ice Age, lowered sea levels produced a 
broad land bridge that enabled intercontinental dis- 
persal of animals and plants, either through the harsh 
continental interior or following a milder Pacific coastal 
route. Even after the disappearance of the last land 
bridge about 1 1 ,000 years ago, prehistoric communi- 
cation across the Bering Strait continued by boat or 
overwinter ice. Unlike the North Atlantic region, where 
thousands of miles of ocean and uninhabited lands 
separate Europe from North America, in the North Pa- 
cific region Beringia acted both as a channel and as a 
"quality control" point for contacts and exchange. Other 
possible routes exist along the Aleutian Chain, across 
the open waters of the Bering and Chukchi Seas, or, for 
the more hapless, across the expanses of the North 
Pacific, pushed by westerly currents and winds. Thus, 
people as well as artifacts large and small found their 
way from Asia to America (and back) on a sporadic 
basis. Regular contacts and exchanges between hunt- 
ers from neighboring tribes situated around the entire 
coastal margin of the North Pacific Rim would have 
been even more influential over the long run. 

Historically, the North Pacific region was one of the 
last large areas of the world to be contacted by Euro- 
peans, and it is still one of the world's best-preserved 
cultural regions. As the Russian, British, Spanish, and 
American explorers witnessed in the 1 700s, its pro- 
ductive lands and waters supported indigenous 
peoples and cultures with highly developed technolo- 
gies, social structures, and art. On their first encoun- 
ters, many European observers reported that Native 
groups from the Kamchatka Peninsula in Asia to the 
Northwest Coast of North America exhibited certain 
similarities in culture, language, and physical type. 

Suggestions of common origins or shared ancestry 
were made on the basis of these early observations 
and anecdotal evidence. Similar observations were 
made about the region's natural history, since both 
sides of the North Pacific have a common set of ma- 
rine mammal, avian, and fish species and share many 
comparable environments and climate regimes. 

The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, 

Despite similarities noted by explorers, early ethno- 
logical studies in Alaska and Northeast Siberia through- 
out the 1 700s and most of the 1 800s were oriented 
toward description of regional and even individual eth- 
nic cultures. In that halcyon era of "natural history" schol- 
arship, detailed observation and systematic record- 
ing, rather than theorizing, carried the day. For this 
reason, the launching of the Jesup North Pacific Expedi- 
tion in 1 897 marks a milestone in the history of North 
Pacific studies. Its objectives, field program, and sub- 
sequent publication activities were all designed by 
Franz Boas, then assistant curator in the Anthropology 
Division at the American Museum of Natural History 
(AMNH) in New York. Boas and others realized that 
science would never solve larger questions by study- 
ing cultures and regions in isolation. 

Funded privately by Morris K. Jesup, president of 
the AMNH, the Jesup Expedition had as its purpose the 
investigation of the history of Native cultures and their 
relationships throughout the North Pacific region. 
Among the questions posed were some of the oldest 
and most exciting in the history of American anthro- 
pology: the origins and migration routes of the Ameri- 
can Indians and Eskimos; cultural relations between 
Asia and the Americas; and the histories, ethnology, 
and material culture of the complex tribes of the Greater 
North Pacific Region. 

The objectives of this broad regional synthesis 
called for field studies on a scale never before at- 
tempted in anthropology. In drafting the Jesup Expedi- 
tion program, Boas skillfully integrated a number of 



scholarly resources of his time. The project was built 
on his previous work among Northwest Coast tribes 
in the late 1 880s and early 1 890s (see Cole, this vol- 
ume); on the successful record of the earlier Smithsonian 
naturalists' work in Alaska (Fitzhugh 1 988), and on 
whatever bits of information about the Native peoples 
of Siberia were then available to western anthropolo- 
gists (see Vakhtin, this volume). As a newly appointed 
museum curator. Boas also saw the Jesup Expedition 
as a vehicle for building museum collections for scien- 
tific and exhibition purposes. 

Ideally the Jesup Expedition was to be conducted 
by teams of anthropologists (or other trained profes- 
sionals) who specialized in ethnology, archaeology, folk- 
lore, linguistics, and physical anthropology. Careful 
collections were to be made, and the geographic dis- 
tribution of cultural elements— ethnographic and ar- 
chaeological objects, language, physical traits— was 
to be thoroughly documented, following newly for- 
mulated principles of diffusion and cross-cultural stud- 
ies. By utilizing this plan, Boas expected to produce a 
broad regional synthesis that would be a model for his 
method of detailed comparison and multidisciplinary 
field research. 

As might be expected of the founder of American 
anthropology, Boas was decades ahead of his time. 
He instructed the members of the team he assembled 
to gather masses of ethnological data, including facial 
casts, body measurements, photographs, folklore texts, 
wax recordings, archaeological artifacts, and linguistic 
records. He dispatched his field crews to the North- 
west Coast, Alaska, and Siberia with the imprimatur of 
the AMNH and with funds provided by Morris Jesup, 
together with his own detailed instructions on data 
collecting. Fieldwork lasted from several summer 
months (for Boas, Dixon, and Farrand, in North America) 
up to two full years (for the Jochelsons in Siberia). The 
researchers then returned and prepared monographs 
under Boas' direct supervision. 

The AMNH's coffers soon filled with thousands of 
ethnographic specimens, and its archives burgeoned 

with documents, field notes, and photographs. Even- 
tually, 11 Jesup Expedition volumes, comprising 31 
separate reports on detailed ethnographic descriptions, 
folklore, and physical anthropology, were published, 
as were several dozen external articles and other mono- 
graphs. All this made the Jesup Expedition one of the 
most extensively published anthropological projects 
ever (see Krupnik, this volume). 

As project leader, Boas had the task of complet- 
ing the final monograph and synthesizing its field re- 
sults. But despite heroic efforts, his team had barely 
succeeded in scratching the surface, and even Boas 
became daunted by the immensity of the task and by 
the dragging performance of many of his associates 
(see Ousley and Jantz, this volume; Kan, this volume). 
To the dismay of his sponsor, Morris Jesup, he never 
completed what was to have been the final mono- 
graph in the JNPE series. Boas and his partners did 
present some of their conclusions in numerous sum- 
mary papers (Boas 1897, 1903, 1905, 1910a, 1910b, 
1912, 1925, 1933; Bogoras 1927, 1 929; Jochelson 
1 926), but to many later critics, this was too little and 
too late (Krupnik 1998). 

In retrospect, the expedition's greatest accomplish- 
ment was to gather invaluable collections and publish 
masses of ethnographic data that documented cul- 
tural practices of the North Pacific peoples at a transi- 
tional time in their history. Working relationships were 
also forged between North American and Russian sci- 
entists and institutions that benefited subsequent gen- 
erations of scholars. The principle became established 
that cultural relations between Asia and North America 
had deep roots and could not be understood by re- 
searchers working in isolation. The Bering Strait actu- 
ally never was a significant geographic or cultural bar- 
rier to prehistoric communication and exchange, and 
neither should it be for scholars who wish to under- 
stand its regional history. The tangled political realities 
of the 20th century, however, imposed harsh limita- 
tions on the spirit of partnership and cooperation ex- 
emplified by the Jesup Expedition. 



Post-Jesup Research 

From our perspective, the Jesup Expedition was a huge 
success. The voluminous series, dozens of other publi- 
cations in English, German, and Russian, presentations 
at international meetings, and large collections of mu- 
seum artifacts, photographs, and other resources that 
it fostered attracted interest and stimulated new re- 
search (Krupnik and Vakhtin 1 997a). While Boas went 
on to assume a professorship at Columbia University, 
forsaking his curatorial duties (and, eventually, his prom- 
ised Jesup Expedition summary volume), he continued 
to publish the expedition's field materials. Some of his 
Jesup associates the Jochelsons, Swanton, Dixon, and 
Smith— expanded their research in the North Pacific to 
areas not covered (although originally envisioned) by 
the Jesup Expedition (Fig. 3). A few, particularly Jochelson 
and Bogoras, developed new support for their earlier 
theories. But no new Joint projects of a similar magni- 
tude were to follow, and as Soviet power and Stalinist 
policies took hold in the Russian Far East, communica- 
tion, travel, and collaborative research across the Bering 
Strait gradually ceased. By the late 1 930s and the early 
1 940s, Russian (Soviet) and western studies of the North 
Pacific cultures, restricted by national borders and ideo- 
logical constraints, diverged and went their separate 
ways (Krupnik 1 998). 

As integrated cross-cultural research across the 
Bering Strait came to a virtual standstill, the plight of 
international scholarship produced an eloquent plea 
for cooperative studies by the famous Danish Arctic 
explorer Knud Rasmussen. He himself had once been 
expelled from Siberia while on a field trip because he 
lacked proper visa papers. Calling for a multinational 
research program in northeastern Siberia and Alaska 
at the Fifth Pacific Science Congress in 1933, only a 
few months before his death, Rasmussen predicted, "I 
am quite aware that a task like this cannot be brought 
to realization in the twinkling of an eye. ... It is, how- 
ever, my firm conviction that one day there will be a 
great co-operative undertaking of this kind, and that 
this plan will be carried out" (Rasmussen 1 934:2772). 

Sadly, his proposal, like many others, died as a result 
of the harsh political regimes to come. 

Although both Russian and American scholars con- 
tinued ethnological surveys in their respective regions, 
they had begun to recognize the critical need for ar- 
chaeological evidence for their general scenarios of 
prehistoric connections and culture change. Soon, ar- 
chaeologists took the lead, thanks to the advances in 
archaeological techniques, the numbers of sites exca- 
vated, and the sheer amount of prehistoric artifacts 
recovered across the Arctic. Boas had included archae- 
ology in the original Jesup Expedition program, but 
practical problems, including the relatively early state 
of development of archaeological techniques and 
theory, limited its contribution (see Thom, this volume). 
Fortunately, the Jesup Expedition had stimulated an 
awareness of the importance of archaeological inves- 
tigation in the Arctic. It was by this means, and through 
the later work of Jochelson in the Aleutians, Collins on 
St. Lawrence Island, Hrdlicka at Kodiak Island, Jenness 
at Cape Prince of Wales, and Larsen and Rainey at Point 
Hope, that a more detailed story of North Pacific pre- 
history began to unfold during the 1 920s and 1 930s. 

With the onset of the Cold War mentality in the late 
1 940s, all research cooperation, as well as human con- 
tacts, across the Bering Strait ceased. The minimal and 
declining competency in the Russian language on the 
part of American scholars, and Soviet censorship, en- 
sured that little information entered academe across 
the Soviet-American frontier. As a result, Russian-Ameri- 
can scholarly communications had all but evaporated 
by 1 950 (Krupnik 1 998). Nevertheless, important sur- 
veys dealing with trans-Beringian archaeology and 
physical anthropology by Russian scholars (e.g., Debets 
1951; Levin 1958 [1963]; Rudenko 1947 [1961]) and 
Western scholars (e.g., Collins 1 937; De Laguna 1 947; 
Larsen and Rainey 1948; Laughlin 1952) continued. 
These studies clearly documented the divergence of 
Russian and Euro-American scholarship in that they in- 
volved minimal direct exchanges and recorded few 
compatible results. 



During the 1950s, new theories on the origins of 
the North Pacific peoples and cultures were advanced 
that redrew or even rejected the old scenarios of the 
Jesup Expedition (see, for example, Chard 1 960; Drucker 
1955; Levin 1958 [1963]). None, however, was based 
on coordinated field research or on a compatible set 
of field data collected on two continents, which had 
been the inspiration for Boas and his partners. 

As a result of post-Jesup research, the "Paleoasiatic" 
peoples of northeastern Siberia (called "Americanoids" 
in some of the Jesup Expedition-based publications) 
are no longer believed to have originated in North 
America or to constitute a coherent entity of their own. 
Nor are the Eskimo [Yup'ikand Ihupiat] people in Alaska 
and Siberia considered to be a relatively recent Cana- 
dian "wedge" that split the initial continuum of coastal 
North Pacific groups from Kamchatka to Oregon. Cul- 
tural similarities between the Native peoples across 
northeastern Siberia, the Northwest Coast of North 
America, and southern Alaska exist, but their origin— 
by migration, cultural transfer or diffusion, or conver- 
gent development— is not known. 

As these examples show, the complexities of North 
Pacific cultural history are now recognized as immense, 
especially since Alaska has been occupied for at least 
1 2,000 years and eastern Siberia for 40,000 years or 
more. Given this demonstrated complexity and the 
probability that people have been moving back and 
forth across the Bering Strait with ease for at least 
1 0,000 years (see Fortescue 1 998), it is ironic that 
many archaeologists, bio-anthropologists, and linguists 
continue to be impressed by three-stage models of 
New World prehistory (see Greenberg 1 987; Turner 
1 988). There is hardly a possibility of simple migration 
theories or scenarios of massive population or cultural 
transfers across the North Pacific, such as those ad- 
vanced by the Jesup Expedition team a century ago. 

Gateways to Jesup 2 

Beginning in the 1970s, initiatives by the International 
Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) began to rebuild 

a bridge for bilateral Russian-American exchange in the 
North Pacific. The effort included research visits, con- 
ferences, publications, and even some limited instances 
of Joint fieldwork (Campbell 1976; Gurvich 1981; 
Laughlin 1980: 70-4, 1985; Laughlin and Okladnikov 
1975; Michael 1979; Michael and VanStone 1983). 
These events drew North American and Russian re- 
searchers in Arctic and Pacific studies into their first 
substantial contacts since the 1930s. Personal friend- 
ships were forged and research partnerships were once 
again established, although lengthy visits and joint field 
surveys were all but impossible. These early connec- 
tions eventually culminated in the exhibit Crossroads 
of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska (1 988), 
produced jointly by the Smithsonian Institution's Na- 
tional Museum of Natural History and the Soviet (now 
Russian) Institute of Ethnography and Museum of An- 
thropology and Ethnography in St. Petersburg (Fitzhugh 
and Crowell 1 988). The exhibit traveled throughout 
North America during 1 988-92. Featuring an integrated 
view of North Pacific cultures. Crossroads of Continents 
served as a visual ethnography and a preliminary syn- 
thesis of the area first covered by the Jesup Expedition 
surveys. It also highlighted the expedition's principal 
findings and the outcomes of anthropological research 
of the intervening 90 years. 

In addition to incorporating Jesup Expedition col- 
lections from the AMNH, the joint exhibit and its cata- 
log featured early Russian collections from Alaska of 
the 1 800s and Alaskan materials from the Smithsonian 
and other North American museums. The Crossroads 
project served as a meetingplace for large numbers of 
American, Canadian, Russian, and European scholars 
over a 1 5-year period from 1 978 to 1 993. This long- 
term exhibit venture, its numerous symposia, and its 
curatorial, conservation, publication, and education pro- 
grams (Fitzhugh and Chaussonnet 1 994; Fitzhugh and 
Crowell 1 988; Johnson etal. 1991 ; Sadler and Greenberg 
1 989) offered new possibilities for direct communica- 
tion among dozens of researchers working on both 
sides of the North Pacific divide. 



As Smithsonian scientists were building theirCrass- 
roads exhibit and scientific collaboration network, cu- 
rators at the AMNH in New York launched their own 
venture in the Jesup Expedition legacy. Their efforts 
were focused on exploring and exhibiting the magnifi- 
cent AMNH collections of the indigenous cultures and 
art of the Northwest Coast. The AMNH program, which 
started in the 1 980s, produced the Chiefly Feasts ex- 
hibit on the vibrant spiritual traditions of the 
Kwakwaka'wakw [KwakiutI] people, based on the 
objects and data collected by Boas and his partners 
during the Jesup Expedition. It also generated several 
volumes and papers focused on the expedition's ac- 
tivities, collections, and participants (Freed et al. 1 988a, 
1 988b, 1 988c; Jonaitis 1 988, 1 991 , 1 992, 1 999). Other 
research projects were soon to follow or were ad- 
vanced independently (Cole 1985;jacknis 1984;Jantz 
1 995; Jantz et al. 1 992; Ousley 1 995). This triggered a 
revived interest in Franz Boas' academic legacy and 
career (Berman 1 992; Stocking 1 992), including a spe- 
cial issue of Ewdes/lnuit/SwdiesiSur les traces de Boas: 
100 ans d'antmpologie des Inu it/In Boas' Footsteps: 
One Hundred Years of Inuit Anthropology, 1 984), and 
led to the first detailed studies on JNPE participants 
such as George Hunt and James Teit who had received 
little attention during their lifetimes (Berman 1994; 
Cannizzo 1983;Jacknis 1991, 1992; Maud 1989; 
Wickwire 1988). By the early 1990s, the Jesup Expedi- 
tion saga, its collections, and the life stories of its team 
members had emerged as a thriving field of research 
and museum activity in North America and Russia alike. 

Additional trans-Beringian exchanges and scholarly 
and exhibit projects were launched in the early 1 990s 
(see, for example, Durr et al. 1992; Smith and Barrett 
1 990; Varjola 1 990). In 1 991 the Alaskan Office of the 
U.S. National Park Service initiated the Shared Beringian 
Heritage Program for research and cultural exchanges 
along the Siberian and Alaskan shores of the Bering 
Strait, under the framework of the proposed Beringia 
International Park. In 1 993 a new "mini-Crossroads" trav- 
eling exhibit. Crossroads Alaska/Siberia, was organized 

by the Smithsonian's Arctic Studies Center together 
with key Alaskan and Siberian museums. For several 
years (1 993-97), it toured to many regional centers in 
Alaska and the Russian Far East (Chaussonnet 1995; 
Chaussonnet and Krupnik 1996; National Museum of 
Natural History 1997). 

Today, a new generation of scholars is actively 
recharting the course of North Pacific/Beringian stud- 
ies, and an impressive volume of archaeological re- 
search has been amassed. Still, despite much new work, 
the larger perspectives of culture history, the origins of 
North Pacific cultures, and the dynamics of prehistoric 
culture change in the Greater Northern Pacific Region 
remain almost as subject to dispute as they were at 
the end of the Jesup Expedition. (Of course, the same 
can be said of other anthropological fields.) We are left 
today with hardly any firm evidence beyond the past 
500-1 ,000 years for interpreting the culture history of 
this region and of its amazing linguistic, biological, folk- 
loristic, and ethnological diversity. Despite volumes of 
new scholarship, the basic documents on which we 
rely for North Pacific ethnography date back to the 
classic 1 9th-century studies on the Northwest Coast 
and Siberia alike. It is obvious that the ground has 
been laid for reassessment of the Jesup Expedition 
legacy in the light of modern knowledge. We now 
face the need to build new relationships and to train 
and equip new students in the field. A shared scientific 
language needs to be created, after two generations 
of scholarly isolation, and new sources of funding for 
joint research ventures must be secured. 

As official barriers to communication across the 
Bering Strait were relaxed after 1 988, new airline routes 
and connections, joint commercial and educational 
enterprises, direct phone and fax lines, e-mail, and many 
other developments emerged. A steady stream of 
Native and scholarly contacts across the North Pacific 
area was soon to follow, paralleling the pattern, if not 
the intensity, of ancient trans-Beringian contacts. The 
North Pacific is a natural and active crossroads be- 
tween Asia and North America; it must have been so 



ever since the first peoples migrated into what was 
then, 12,000-1 5,000 years ago, truly a "new world." 
Since then, meetings, migrations, intermarriages, trad- 
ing, fighting, exploring, and getting lost and being 
found by neighbors have occurred more or less con- 
tinuously over the millennia, except for some brief pe- 
riods of isolation. The 50-year-long break of the past 
century was probably the most effective barrier ever 
imposed, and the hardest to overcome. 

Jesup 2 Beginnings 

In 1992— almost 100 years after Boas, Frederic W. 
Putnam (head of the AMNH Department of Anthropol- 
ogy), and Jesup had begun their first discussions on 
the proposed survey of the North Pacific region— the 
Arctic Studies Center of the Smithsonian Institution 
advanced a blueprint for new long-term research to- 
ward these same goals. The proposed venture was 
called Jesup 2, as a centennial and intellectual succes- 
sor to the (first) Jesup North Pacific Expedition of 1 897- 
1902 (AAAS 1992; Fitzhugh and Krupnik 1994). 

The new initiative, which was undertaken concur- 
rently with the approaching (1997) centennial of the 
Jesup Expedition, was submitted in 1 992 at a special 
session at the First Congress of the International Arctic 
Social Sciences Association (lASSA) in Quebec (Fitzhugh 
and Krupnik 1992). The symposium's title, "Jesup 2: 
Survival, Continuity, and Culture Change in the North 
Pacific Region," became the core framework for sev- 
eral individual and Joint research ventures now com- 
monly recognized as "Jesup centennial activities." 

Three successive symposia were organized follow- 
ing the initial panel of 1992. The first, "Gateways to 
Jesup 2: Evaluating Archival Resources of the Jesup North 
Pacific Expedition, 1897-1902," took place in 1993, 
at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the American Anthro- 
pological Association in Washington, D.C. Participants 
from the United States, Canada, and Russia reviewed 
unknown or poorly studied museum, archival, photo- 
graphic, manuscript, and other collections and raw data 
originating from the Jesup North Pacific Expedition (AAA 

1 993). This volume is the result of the "Gateways" sym- 
posium. The second session, "Cultural Continuity and 
Change in the North Pacific Region," was organized at 
the "Bridges of Science" joint conference held by the 
American Association for the Advancement of Science 
(AAAS) and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) in 
Anchorage, Alaska, in 1 994. In November 1 997 a con- 
ference celebrating the Jesup centennial, "Construct- 
ing Cultures Then and Now. Celebrating Franz Boas 
and the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, 1897-1902," 
was held at the AMNH, the birthplace of the Jesup 
Expedition. This five-day international conference 
brought together an impressive team of over 50 schol- 
ars, museum curators, and Native cultural workers from 
North America, Russia, Europe, and Japan and was by 
far the largest and most representative gathering of 
people active in "Jesup area" research (Graburn 1 998; 
Lee 1998). An exhibit of historical photographs and 
some ethnographic objects collected by the expedi- 
tion was organized at the AMNH, and a wonderful 
catalog. Drawing Shadows to Stone (Kendall et al. 
1997), was produced for the opening of the centen- 
nial celebration. The volume of conference proceed- 
ings is now in preparation for the same AMNH series 
that also contains the volumes of the original Jesup 
Expedition (Kendall and Krupnik n.d.). A similar Russian 
conference took place in Vladivostok, in the Russian 
Far East, in April 1 998 (Artem'ev 1 998). 

The new venture was initially designed to be sus- 
tained by a scattered community of international schol- 
ars (Fitzhugh and Krupnik 1994:2), instead of being, 
like its famous predecessor, a centralized project with 
an established budget and defined responsibilities. As 
a result of the loose structure, many research and pub- 
lic activities have been initiated or have been supported 
by individual research and museum institutions. A new 
bibliography is gradually being accumulated (e.g., 
Fitzhugh 1996; lARPC 1995; Krupnik 1998, 2000; 
Mandelstam Balzer 1 996; Vakhtin 1 993). Four recently 
published books are outgrowths of the Jesup centen- 
nial efforts (Artem'ev 1 998;Jochelson 1 997; Kendall et 



al. 1997; Shternberg 1999), and two more volumes 
are in press or in preparation (Ivanov-Unarov and 
Ivanova, in press; Kendall and Krupnik n.d.). Several in- 
ternational projects documenting cultural continuity 
and the modern revival of Native nations first surveyed 
by the Jesup Expedition were completed during the 
1990s, including an international seminar, "Develop- 
ment and Self-Determination among the Indigenous 
Peoples of the North," held in Alaska in October 1996 
(see reviews in Stern et al. 1 997). Scores of new publi- 
cations have been directly linked to or inspired by the 
Jesup centennial agenda (e.g., Fitzhugh and Dubreuil 
1999; Kan 2000; Kasten 1996; Krupnik 1996, 1998, 
2000; Krupnik and Vakhtin 1 997b; Ousley 2000; Roon 
2000; Schweitzer and Colovko 1995; Thom 2000). 

These successful public activities and exchanges 
relating to the Jesup centennial brought together schol- 
ars, museum curators, and Native cultural activists from 
the two sides of the North Pacific in an effort that per- 
haps deserves the name Jesup 2. Progress in communi- 
cation and broad network-building is clearly the big- 
gest current advantage over our "First Jesup" prede- 
cessors, who often needed months (and sometimes 
years) to get their messages from New York to Russia/ 
Siberia or Alaska and back. 

New Research Targets 

As the world enters the new millennium, scholars and 
the public alike are concerned with the dramatic out- 
comes of the past century and the legacy it will leave 
to future generations. Issues of environmental degra- 
dation, pollution, loss of species, and ecosystem in- 
tegrity are currently of major concern to the broad 
constituency of natural scientists, public activists, and 
politicians. Both Native leaders and social scientists 
express a similar set of concerns with regard to human 
cultural diversity and the rights of local populations 
and cultures. Government policies, industrialization, and 
the spread of consumerism have damaged indigenous 
subsistence and languages worldwide; they have also 
undermined traditional arts and crafts and distorted 

the cultural continuity and ethnic diversity of Native 
peoples on an unprecedented, global scale. 

Despite the differences in political systems, in many 
respects 20th-century developments in Siberia and in 
Alaska and the Northwest Coast produced surprisingly 
similar results. Both areas have recently experienced 
revivals of indigenous cultures and sweeping drives 
for Native political empowerment, land rights, and self- 
determination. The movement has been far more suc- 
cessful in Alaska and Canada than in Siberia but is also 
gaining momentum there. Both in the Russian Far East 
and along the Northwest Coast of North America, cul- 
tural and language survival. Native rights, education 
policy, and economic and political issues are looming 
as major concerns on local agendas for the new cen- 
tury. The challenges to Native cultures are mounting, 
since in many northern communities Native languages 
have been weakened or lost, poverty has increased, 
subsistence economies have been weakened, and al- 
coholism and social disorders remain significant threats 
to physical and communal well-being. 

As a tool for evaluating the current pace of change, 
the North Pacific region already has a baseline data set 
produced by the Jesup Expedition exactly a century 
ago. A new effort should be made to produce a sum- 
mary of indigenous cultural continuity (and losses) dur- 
ing the past century. Through the example of theJNPE's 
method and organization, new efforts can be initiated 
to conduct a reanalysis of the JNPE field and its archival 
data, to concentrate new surveys in the same geo- 
graphic area, to ensure data comparability, to facili- 
tate studies of centennial culture change, and to en- 
courage cross-cultural comparison. 

A centennial-focused assessment of old and new 
data on cultural relationships and continuity may pro- 
vide invaluable assistance to native communities and 
policy groups. It is now axiomatic that such studies 
should be carried out in cooperation with and on be- 
half of Native constituencies, with the aim of encour- 
aging local educational, cultural, and professional de- 
velopment. The standard practice is certainly to take 



ethical considerations into account in such work. Such 
studies, and concrete implementation of their major 
outcomes, are particularly urgent throughout the Rus- 
sian part of the North Pacific region, where the recent 
political transition and the shift to a market economy 
have left many Native communities in a more desti- 
tute situation than under the Soviet communist regime. 
We hope this volume will serve as a catalyst for these 
scholarly and practical endeavors. 

The Focus of This Volume 

As noted, Boas never completed his assigned task of 
synthesizing data from the Siberian and Northwest 
American field surveys into a final volume for the Jesup 
Expedition publication series. For this reason, the JNPE 
has been viewed as an inconclusive, though signifi- 
cant, event in the history of North American anthropol- 
ogy (Cole 1999; Darnell 1998). Unfortunately, Boas' 
last (and practically his only) general review of the 
expedition's outcomes, methodology, and theoretical 
framework was presented in German in 1908 as the 
opening address at the 1 6th International Congress of 
Americanists in Vienna (Boas 1 91 Ob). It is still unknown 
why such a milestone paper has never been published 
in English. Whatever the reason, it remained out of sight 
for generations of English-speaking scholars in North 
Pacific research. These and other factors eventually side- 
lined the JNPE from the mainstream of scholarly ad- 
vances in anthropological theory and field practice. To 
restore a rather belated justice to the JNPE efforts, and 
for the record of its founding father, we include here a 
modern translation of Boas' seminal Vienna address of 
1908 (see Boas, this volume). There is no doubt that 
Boas was fully aware of the great methodological and 
theoretical value of the JNPE multidisciplinary approach 
and of its input to the study of human cultural devel- 
opment in the most general sense. 

It is uniformly recognized, however, that the Jesup 
Expedition did achieve a more restricted goal of pro- 
ducing a set of "classical" ethnographic monographs 
on many groups of the North Pacific region. With Boas' 

resignation from his position at the AMNH after increas- 
ing tensions between him and Jesup led to his depar- 
ture for Columbia University in 1905 (see Cole, this 
volume; Darnell 1970:21 1-4), the "final chapter" and 
the overall evaluation of the legacy of the JNPE have 
been left for others to complete. 

At the centennial of the Jesup Expedition era, a 
more dedicated and multifaceted appraisal is needed. 
What can be said now about Boas' theoretical motiva- 
tions in organizing the Jesup Expedition? How can this 
be tested against the general intellectual discourse and 
the dominant anthropological paradigms of the era? In 
particular, the Boasian perspective on "culture" has 
sparked a new debate and is currently the subject of 
extensive scholarly reevaluation (see, for example, 
Berman 1 996; Bunzl 1 996; Darnell 1 998; Jacknis 1 996; 
Liss 1995; Stocking 1992, 1996). In this sense, the 
results of the century-old Jesup Expedition surveys 
across Beringia and the Greater North Pacific Region 
are as fresh in our own time as they were in Boas' day. 

This volume is the first summary of such a centen- 
nial reappraisal effort. It is an outgrowth of the "Gate- 
ways to Jesup 2" panel that was organized by the 
volume coeditors at the 92nd Annual Meeting of the 
American Anthropological Association in Washington, 
D.C., in 1 993. A few of the nine original papers from 
the AAA panel do not appear in this volume, while 
some new contributions— those byCole,Thom, Krupnik, 
and Willey— were submitted after the session. Abridged 
versions of two papers from this collection appeared 
earlier in a special issue of the European Review of 
Native American Sfurf/es under the editorship of Chris- 
tian Feest (Kan 2000; Thom 2000). 

This volume thus initiates the process of a modern 
reappraisal of some of the less recognized aspects of 
the JNPE legacy that extend far beyond its voluminous 
publications and ethnographic collections of a cen- 
tury ago. The task leads us into three separate aspects 
of JNPE historiography: (a) the origins and intellectual 
background of the expedition; (b) a critical assess- 
ment of its fieldwork and collection practices; and 



(c) its various archival legacies, which provide a last- 
ing trove of documentary evidence for analysis of the 
expedition's results. The contributions in this volume 
are organized to emphasize such a progression. 

Part 1 , "The Expedition," with contributions by Cole 
and Vakhtin, explores the intellectual roots of the Jesup 
Expedition and presents an informative historical coun- 
terpoint that aids in assessing the complexity of the 
project and its final outcomes. Douglas Cole— who 
passed away in August 1 997, a few months before 
the Jesup Centennial Conference in New York (see "In 
Memory of below)— produced the most detailed up- 
date of the completeJNPE multiyear saga. His approach 
proceeds from the perspective of the Boas-Jesup rela- 
tionship and what each was hoping to achieve. "Pure 
science" and museum goals were clearly juxtaposed, 
and ultimately, the outcome favored the museum's 
priorities more than those of science. Nikolai Vakhtin 
offers valuable insights on the less-known record of 
the assembly of the Siberian portion of the JNPE, which 
was in certain ways a more radical scientific venture 
than what was done on the American Northwest Coast. 
Of the two. Cole's perspective is more critical of Boas' 
motivations and tactics, and of the end results that 
leaned in favor of Morris Jesup's expectations. 

Part 2, "The Collectors," with papers by Harkin, 
Mathe and Miller, Thorn, and Berman, presents mod- 
ernist perspectives on the field approaches of the Jesup 
Expedition, particularly from the point of view of re- 
searcher-Native relationships. It is hard to imagine less 
congruent sets of data— textual records, photographs, 
and archaeological excavations— yet combined, they 
reinvigorate the image of the interdisciplinary and pio- 
neeringJNPE research. Harkin examines Boas' fieldwork 
among central Northwest Coast groups in the context 
of his training in German Romantic and liberal social 
science thought, in which texts and myth rather than 
history determine cultural content. Mathe and Miller 
review the photographic practices of the JNPE team 
members from the modern perspective, which directs 
attention to the "framing" (even the "staging") of the 

ethnographic reality, as well as the power/status in- 
terplay of the photographers and their human sub- 
jects. Thom's paper is a modern archival chronicle of 
archaeological work conducted by Harlan Smith along 
the southern Northwest Coast between 1 897 and 
1 899. This was a region in which Boas expected ar- 
chaeological data to reveal significant evidence of his- 
torical change. Smith's finds importantly reinforced 
Boas' mistaken view that archaeology, linguistics, oral 
history, and culture could be combined into a single 
unified thesis of North Pacific (pre-)history. Smith's pre- 
viously unstudied archival documents reveal a human 
context for this early archaeological research and 
shows how social relationships, good and bad, shaped 
his and Boas' conclusions about regional prehistory in 
ways that are not evident in the published JNPE re- 
ports. Finally, Berman offers a new perspective on the 
Boas-Hunt collaboration and on George Hunt's contri- 
bution to the JNPE and later documentation efforts. In 
a detailed review of the unpublished manuscripts from 
Boas' and Hunt's monumental corpus of Kwak- 
waka'wakw [KwakuitI] texts, she unveils an intricate 
and often conflicting play of human and professional 
relationships that were never disclosed in their volumi- 
nous folkloric and ethnographic writings. 

Part 3, "The Resources," with papers by Kan, Ousley 
and Jantz, Keeling, Krupnik, and Willey, presents a se- 
ries of new studies of both known and "rediscovered" 
materials produced during or after the expedition. The 
list ranges from Kan's story of the painful saga of Leo 
Shternberg's manuscript on Gilyak [Nivkh] social orga- 
nization that was produced for, but never published 
in, the JNPE series, to the modern appraisal by Ousley 
and Jantz of the monumentalJNPE corpus of anthropo- 
metric measurements that was duly collected but nei- 
ther processed nor published in Boas' time, to Keeling's 
analysis of the expedition's ethnomusicological legacy, 
preserved on old wax-cylinder recordings. 

Next, Krupnik demonstrates the overall impact of 
the Jesup Expedition in a comprehensive bibliography 
of its published and unpublished writings. This record 


alone fully validates the JNPE's preeminent role in the 
history of regional and theoretical studies in anthro- 
pology and culture change. It furnishes strong support 
to those of us who believe that the JNPE did establish 
an unprecedented and monumental record of anthro- 
pological documentation. In a similar way, Willey's 
paper provides a comprehensive review of the 
expedition's photographic record of some 3,500 his- 
torical images that are now catalogued and organized 
thematically in the AMNH Special Collections files. There 
is clearly more grist to grind here, both for those inter- 
ested in regional scholarship and for those seeking to 
build on the vision of trans-Beringian contacts and his- 
tory begun by Boas and his partners. 

Editors' Notes 

A few technical comments will be helpful to readers in 
matching the old realities of the Jesup Expedition era 
with today's practices in anthropological publications. 
The names of the Russian members of the expedition, 
including Waldemar Bogoras, Waldemar Jochelson, his 
wife, Dina Jochelson (Jochelson-Brodsky), and Leo 
Shternberg, have been spelled in many different ways 
in various languages. Throughout the volume, we fol- 
low the long-established spelling used in their English 
publications and in major reference bibliographies: 
Bogoras, Jochelson, Jochelson-Brodsky, and Shternberg. 
Some references to Russian or German publications 
and personal correspondence, however, preserve the 
forms used in the respective languages: Bogoraz, 
Jochelson-Brodskaya, and Sternberg. In certain sections 
the Russian spelling— for example, Bogoraz instead of 
Bogoras— is preserved to underline the Russian setting 
of the story. 

In this volume, as well as in several other publica- 
tions by the Arctic Studies Center, we adhere to the 
commonly accepted practice of presenting Native 
ethnic and tribal names as singulars (Eskimo, Chukchi, 
Koryak, Aleut, etc.) instead of plurals. We generally use 
modern names in contemporary text; for example, 
Chukchi, Yukagir, and Nivkh instead of the names 


Chukchee, Yukaghir, and Gilyak that were common 
during the Jesup Expedition era. We do keep the old 
names when referring to the Jesup Expedition volumes 
and to the subsequently produced publications. Sev- 
eral ethnic names, both in Siberia and in North America 
(for example, Eskimo, Tungus, Kamchadal, KwakiutI, and 
Thompson), have been abandoned or have become 
obsolete since the time of the Jesup Expedition. We 
introduce modern names (InuitorVup'ik, Even, Itelmen, 
Kwakwaka'wakw, NIaka'pamux) wherever appropri- 
ate, but we usually allow the authors to follow the 
name patterns now accepted by local communities in 
their respective areas. 

This book is illustrated by numerous original pho- 
tographs from thejesup Expedition era, including many 
taken by the expedition field crews in Siberia and North 
America. We are grateful to the JNPE's host institution, 
the American Museum of Natural History in New York, 
for permission to reproduce these precious historical 
images. Special thanks go to Barbara Mathe, head of 
the Special Collections division at the AMNH Library, 
who was instrumental in selecting and securing most 
of the illustrations on the AMNH files. Some other illus- 
trations—individual photographs, copies of field 
sketches, personal notes, etc. are reproduced from 
the originals on file at the American Philosophical Soci- 
ety in Philadelphia; the Archives of the Russian Acad- 
emy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia; the Peter the 
Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, also 
in St. Petersburg; and the Hudson's Bay Company Ar- 
chives in the Provincial Archives of Manitoba. (See the 
List of Illustrations.) We thank all the institutions that 
granted us permission to use these documents as il- 
lustrations in our Jesup centennial collection. 


This volume's progress was by no means smooth and 
easy, and, like many of the proceedings of the JNPE, 
it suffered several setbacks— although, of course, for 
different reasons. The full manuscript was completed 
and submitted for publication in 1 997. Dori Stewart 

1 1 

provided invaluable assistance in preparing that ver- 
sion. We praise her heroic contributions in formatting 
into a single editorial cast the 1 1 original papers (and 
disks), delivered with unimaginable individual variations. 
Three years later, Elisabeth Ward of the Arctic Studies 
Center undertook the challenging task of breathing 
new life into a long-dormant venture. She skillfully co- 
ordinated the uneasy process of updating the papers 
and again editing the volume, with professional assis- 
tance from Nancy Levine. Last but not least, we want 
to thank all the contributors for their support, patience, 
and dedication. Their trust and commitment helped us 
persevere through years of delays and withered hopes 
to see this volume finally published under the Arctic 
Studies Center's newly established Conthbutioms to 


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1 984 Franz Boas and Photography. Studies in Visual 
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*J"he f^esuits of the Jesup Expedition 

Opening /\ddres5 at the 
/\mericani5t5, \J\enna 1 905 

oth 1 nternational (^-Ongress o f th e 


Translated by Saskia Wrausmann 

If I accept the honor of this invitation to report on the 
results ofthejesup North Pacific Expedition, I must first 
express my deepest regret about the loss of a man 
without whose heartfelt interest in ethnological research 
we would not have been outfitted for this expedition. 
This spring Morris K.Jesup, president of the 1 3th Inter- 
national Americanist Congress [in 1 902— ed.] and presi- 
dent of the American Museum of Natural History in 
New York, passed away. He lent his continued interest 
to the development of American science and dedi- 
cated his great organizational skills and rich resources 
toward the loftiest goals of humankind. For more than 
25 years, Mr. Jesup was head of administration at the 
American Museum of Natural History. During those years, 
he was able to advance not only the natural sciences 
but also anthropology in every possible direction and 
to foster the value of scientific inquiry in his fellow citi- 

I had the honor to lead the largest comprehensive 
study that Mr. Jesup sponsored, the North Pacific Expe- 
dition. Starting in 1 897, we conducted extensive eth- 
nological and archaeological research on the East Coast 
of Siberia and the Northwest Coast of America. The 
goal was to investigate how the peoples of this vast 
territory interrelate. The expedition itself was completed 
in 1 902. The results of our observations are accessible 
to the scientific community in a large number of vol- 
umes, which should all be completed in about four to 
five years. Mr. Jesup himself paid for the expenses in- 
curred by the expedition and the publications, a total 
cost of about $100,000. 

Before I discuss the results of the expedition, it 
seems appropriate to delineate the aspects that 
guided the development of my research plan. In my 
view, the goal of the expedition was to resolve the 
question of how the cultures, languages, and races of 
the Old World relate to those of the New. Of particular 
interest was the extent to which Old World influences 
extend into the heart of North America, and vice versa. 
These questions naturally are connected in a funda- 
mental way to the larger problem of the place of Na- 
tive Americans among the peoples and races of the 

Our theoretical framework is directly linked to new 
perceptions on the evolutionary history of humankind 
that have been recently developed by a number of 

In all anthropological investigations, we face the 
difficult fundamental question of how to explain simi- 
larities in cultures that are geographically distinct. Some 
scholars, in particular those of the British school of an- 
thropology, consider similarities as evidence for paral- 
lel evolution of humankind in all parts of the globe. In 
its most extreme form, their view proposes that hu- 
man culture everywhere always follows the same path. 
Thus, currently existing circumstances represent differ- 
ent stages in the course of human development. Other 
scientists do not feel that similar ethnological appear- 
ances prove the existence of different developmental 
stages but that they are the effect of analogous psy- 
chological laws which appear with great uniformity in 
all parts of the world and at all levels of development. 

1 7 

In opposition to these views is a more individual- 
ized theory in which culture is a product of a specific 
history and development that relies not only on the 
mental and physical accomplishments of a people but 
also acknowledges that new ideas and modes of liv- 
ing arise through contact with neighboring peoples 
and external forces. Supporters of this theory tend to 
attribute cultural similarities between discrete areas to 
a common history. Cultural similarities that occur in 
neighboring areas are interpreted as fairly recent bor- 
rowings and adaptations. A common ancient culture 
core {KulWrgut) explains parallels in distant regions. 

Obviously, approaching the issue of cultural resem- 
blances from a strictly psychological and developmen- 
tal-historical standpoint makes a research question such 
as the one posed by the Jesup Expedition seem im- 
possible to solve. If all the differences of a restricted 
region are ascribed only to faster or slower cultural 
development, or if all the similarities are attributed only 
to common psychological processes, a historically 
based examination of mutual influence in cultural de- 
velopment is futile. 

We must now admit that many of the cultural simi- 
larities in remote areas are so sporadic and unrelated 
that it is extraordinarily difficult to defend a common 
origin. The wealth of ethnographic information that has 
come to light in the past decades points to the ines- 
capable fact that the customs and innovations of one 
people— say, in North America— can be paralleled by 
those of another people in any other part of the globe. 
Thus, it is undeniable that convergent developments 
and inventions of a people cannot be unequivocally 
used as proof of a historical connection because each 
would have to be linked historically to all others. On 
the other hand, we have a wealth of proof regarding 
the dissemination of ideas from one people to another. 
We have convincing evidence that the Verbreit- 
ungskreise, the expanding circles of cultural achieve- 
ments, of early, prehistoric times extended very far. 
The spread of cultivated plants and domesticated 
animals in the New and the Old Worlds, and the 

1 8 

enormous distribution of complicated folktales, pro- 
vide clear testimony for widespread diffusion. 

These considerations were imperative in working 
out the complete plan and in choosing a particular 
question for investigation. It seemed that our method 
of research had to be based on the recognition of 
historical lines of diffusion but should also acknowl- 
edge similar psychological tendencies in remote areas 
and among all peoples, which result in parallels that 
are not historically caused. If we keep in mind both 
sources of cultural similarity, we must demand, in a 
careful, methodical investigation, that an isolated simi- 
larity of singular traits should never be seen as proof of 
a historical connection. We may only, if there are other 
influential reasons, work with the hypothesis of lost 
geographic links. A historical connection, then, can only 
be considered established when a number of compli- 
cated cultural forms appear evenly over a contiguous 
region, outside of which they are either missing or are 
disjointed and fragmentary. 

This does not yet demonstrate that certain appear- 
ances emerge from a single center. However, it is ex- 
traordinarily likely that related cultural forms blend over 
the total area. The question of where a cultural trait 
was acquired should be left out of further discussion 
because the present concentration of its distribution 
provides only very unreliable evidence for the location 
of its first appearance. 

For this research technique, the negative element— 
the absence of typical cultural forms outside an iso- 
lated region— carries a lot of weight. This circumstance 
calls for special care in the collection of evidential 
materials. I want to emphasize sharply that from this 
point of view, the evidence for a connection between 
the Melanesian-Malay culture and the northwestern 
American culture in the sense of Friedrich Ratzel is not 
convincing. Instead, one should demand a gradual 
exploration of a problem that is of such sweeping im- 

These observations provide the foundation for the 
entire JNPE research. Exactly determining the geographic 


distribution of ideas and cultural forms, carefully ana- 
lyzing assumed cultural acquisitions, and studying the 
connection between contemporary and prehistoric 
populations within the land stretches in question are 
all necessary in order to obtain a clear picture of the 
development of culture and the distribution of peoples 
in all areas. 

Most of all, it seemed imperative not to shirk any 
effort in explaining the historical development of the 
culture of each area. Aside from the geographic com- 
parison, no research method now seems more prom- 
ising than surveying how different tribes perceive their 
own customs and interpret their own traditions. If it is 
true that a large part of every tribe's culture is acquired, 
then it is no less true that the acquisition only becomes 
a genuine part of the culture if it fuses with native per- 
ceptions into a comprehensive whole which has a more 
or less expressed character. In other words, the for- 
eign element in a culture becomes native by being 
permeated by the spirit or style of the native culture. 
Because of this, knowing the spread of an objectively 
similar form in connection with its subjective interpre- 
tation gives us the best method for explaining the pro- 
cesses that made each culture, in form and content, 
what it is now; both are naturally in a relationship of 
the closest reciprocity. This point of view gave weight 
to study of the people's own interpretation of their 
traditions. It thus seemed supremely important to docu- 
ment the anthropological material through uncensored 
accounts of natives in their own words and in their 
own language, to preserve the original meaning. In 
addition, text material gained through such a process 
provides an unparalleled basis for purely linguistic re- 
search. Such research is clearly superior to a simple 
collection of vocabulary and grammar and is abso- 
lutely necessary for our purposes. The division of lan- 
guages into dialects, word borrowings, tonal and gram- 
matical influences, and the presence of large morpho- 
logical groups are all manifestations that are vital in 
answering our question. 

It hardly needs to be mentioned that the study of 


body types of different peoples should not be ne- 
glected. A study of the kind I have outlined seems 
worthwhile for two reasons. First, we hoped to make 
an important contribution to our knowledge of the 
relationships between the indigenous peoples of 
America and those of the Old World. Second, we hoped 
that studying the historical development of a large 
area inhabited by peoples of a simpler culture would 
give us the means to treat with greater methodologi- 
cal precision the vexing ethnographic problem of in- 
dependent invention versus acquisition. 

It appears to me now that this method of carefully 
analyzing a geographically connected region through 
our work with the goal of clarifying historical associa- 
tions is vividly justified. We found clear proof of cul- 
tural acquisition everywhere. Not only that; this method 
allowed us to reconstruct population migrations. Thus, 
the people of the North Pacific coastal region no longer 
appear to be unchanging, ahistorical entities. We see 
cultures as changing constantly, each people influenced 
by its proximal and distal, spatial and temporal, neigh- 
bors. We recognize that although in the historical sense 
these peoples are certainly primitive, the structure of 
their thoughts and beliefs should not be interpreted as 
comparable to that of our earliest ancestors and thus 
placed neatly within the developmental-historical or- 
der. Instead one should look for their origin in the com- 
plex ethnic relationships of all people. 

We do not deny that the acquired cognitive mate- 
rial with which these populations operate has the ten- 
dency, through certain psychological laws, to take on 
forms that remind us of distant peoples. We regard the 
clarification of these psychological factors as one of 
the most important tasks of ethnology. It should result 
not in a simple evolutionary formula that can be ap- 
plied to all humankind but rather in laws of perception, 
thought, feeling, and desire that affect the various cul- 
tural forms of humankind. 

Thus, the results of our research complement the 
conclusions drawn from detailed studies of Africa, 
Oceania, and early European history. 

1 9 

After this brief presentation of our research assump- 
tions, I would like to go on to discuss my course of 
action and the more specific results of the expedition. 
The people we studied in Asia can be grouped to- 
gether as the isolated tribes of East Siberia. Four inde- 
pendent language families are spoken there, from Ja- 
pan northward to the Bering Strait and westward to 
the Kolyma River: Ainu, Gilyak, Chukchee, and Yukaghir. 
Tungus and Turkish tribes have invaded the region from 
the south, considerably changing the cultural and physi- 
cal characteristics of some natives. Only the Ainu of 
Sakhalin Island and Hokkaido Island were not covered 
by the original expedition proposal because older re- 
ports are numerous. Messrs. Waldemar Bogoras, and 
Waldemar Jochelson, Mrs. Jochelson, Ph.D., and Mr. 
Berthold Laufer, Ph.D., worked on the Asian side. Later, 
we were fortunate to receive the assistance for the 
expedition of Dr. Leo Shternberg, whose extensive 
knowledge of the peoples of the Amur River area is of 
great importance for our problem. Unfortunately, it was 
not possible to extend our work to the isolated tribes 
of West Siberia. 

The area covered in North America stretches from 
the Bering Strait south to the Columbia River. The tribes 
there speak 10 independent languages. We did not 
consider two of these tribes, the Eskimo and the South 
Alaskan Tlingit, because other research was available. 
Unfortunately, it was impossible to include in our ob- 
servations the Aleut, a tribe whose position is still un- 
clear. Our main focus incorporated the tribes of the 
province of British Columbia and the state of Washing- 
ton. Considering our prior knowledge of the Haida, 
Tsimshian, KwakiutI, and Bella Coola, it seemed advan- 
tageous to focus our attention on these and other 
Salish tribes. John R. Swanton, Ph.D., James Teit, Profes- 
sor Livingston Farrand, and I conducted this work. 
Gerard Fowke, on the Asian side, and Harlan I. Smith, 
on the American side, were responsible for archaeo- 
logical research. Mr. Bogoras, Mr. Jochelson, Mr. 
Swanton, and I were especially dedicated to linguistic 
research, with Mr. Bogoras working with the Chukchee 

and Koryak, Mr. Jochelson with the Yukaghir, Mr. 
Swanton with the Haida, and myself with the Tsimshian, 
KwakiutI, and Salish tribes. Mrs. Jochelson, Ph.D., prima- 
rily collected anatomical and anthropological material 
in Siberia, and I did the same in America. This material 
consists of large collections of photographic types, 
skeletons and skulls, and measurements taken both 
directly from humans and from plaster casts, which I 
value greatly. Naturally, the skeletal material is incon- 
sistent, since skulls and skeletons are hard to obtain in 
areas where cremation is practiced or other obstacles 

In recounting the results of the entire enterprise, I 
will first remark on the stark contrast that has devel- 
oped between the tribes of the American North and 
Northwest and those of the southern parts of North 
America. A comparison of our results with two new, 
detailed studies of the Plains Indians and the tribes of 
California and the Western Plateau area of North America 
convinced me that the tribes of the Pacific states, in- 
cluding the larger part of California and the Arctic Coast, 
are marginal populations, in the sense of Friedrich Ratzel. 
Undoubtedly, these cultures originally covered a much 
larger part of northern North America. The more we 
familiarize ourselves with the specific ritual culture of 
the southern Indian tribes of the Union, and the more 
details of their art we understand, the better we can 
disregard the secondarily formed perceptions of the 
world that distinguish the culture circles of North 
America, and the clearer it becomes that they appear 
to be gradually attenuating from south to north and 
that we may in all likelihood be seeing the northern 
ripples of the Central and South American culture circle. 
Two Kulturstmme, or cultural flows, seem to have ad- 
vanced northward from Mexico across the deserts and 
steppes of the Southwest, as well as from the Antilles. 
These migrations make North American culture and 
the central areas of both North and South America 
appear to be a unique entity. 

I am therefore impelled to assert that the culture 
circle of the Arctic and Pacific Coasts, including the 



larger part of California, represents an older American 
culture type that has been barely touched by the ex- 
pansion of the civilized American peoples. What we 
usually call typically American represents a blending 
of the cultures of the larger part of the continent, which 
took place relatively recently, without reaching the 
southernmost and northernmost parts of the hemi- 
sphere. The expansion of Indian maize cultivation, to 
the extent that it is independent of climatic condi- 
tions, clearly demonstrates the aforementioned con- 

The northwestern peoples of the American coast 
seem to have originally had an intimate connection 
with the isolated peoples of East Siberia. The problem 
that confronts us here is perhaps one of the most dif- 
ficult and strangest that we encountered during our 
research expedition. In superficial observations, simi- 
larities in the cultural lives of East Siberian coastal 
peoples such as the Chukchee and Koryak and of the 
Eskimo are noticeable. It would seem as if the coastal 
Chukchee and Koryak possessed the main character- 
istics of the Eskimo culture. On the other hand, a sig- 
nificant contrast appears between the inhabitants of 
the coast of British Columbia and the shores of the Sea 
of Okhotsk. Nevertheless, a comparison of the mytho- 
logical repertoire of these peoples teaches us that a 
widespread concurrence is found between East Sibe- 
ria and the southern parts of the North Pacific Coast. 
Mr. Jochelson, Mr. Ehrenreich, and I discussed a number 
of these parallels at length, so that I can point out here 
that an association between American and Asian mo- 
tifs undoubtedly exists. I will mention here only magic 
flight, a complicated myth motif that is common and 
well developed only in northwestern America, although 
it does seem to have reached far into the prairie and 
the South. 

It is certainly not insignificant that the Raven plays 
a prominent role as ancestor and sometimes as cre- 
ator in the mythology of East Siberian peoples. The 
Raven has the same role with the North Pacific peoples 
of America. The interpretation of this similarity is made 

considerably more difficult by the fact that neighbor- 
ing Indians heavily influence the Eskimo from Alaska 
east to the Mackenzie River. We know that Indian ani- 
mal mythology plays an equally important role. Un- 
doubtedly, the mythological repertoire of the entire 
North Pacific Coast, starting from the Sea of Okhotsk 
east and south to the Columbia River, contains many 
common elements. 

However, there is an important difference here. While 
Eskimo animal mythology, as far as I know, is largely 
newly acquired, the Indian-like myths of the East Asian 
peoples such as the Koryak are much older. I am im- 
pelled to assume a very old association in that direc- 
tion, and it does seem likely that an ancient connec- 
tion existed between the peoples of the Sea of Okhotsk 
and the Indians of British Columbia— a connection that 
could be older than the arrival of the Eskimo at the 
Bering Strait. 

At present, we are not able to answer this impor- 
tant question with full conviction. We do hope, how- 
ever, that archaeological explorations along the coast 
of Alaska will give us a definitive answer. This hope 
relies mainly on the sharply defined physical type of 
the Eskimo, which differs so much from that of neigh- 
boring peoples that a row of Eskimo skulls can be 
readily recognized as such. If other types were to be 
discovered in older layers on the shores of the Bering 
Sea, we would have proof that the Eskimo of Alaska 
should be looked at as later migrants from the more 
eastern regions of the (North) American Arctic. 

I would like to point out a phenomenon that I find 
significant and that reopens in a certain sense the Boyd- 
Dawkins theory of a possible connection between 
prehistoric Europe and the Eskimo. As is well known, 
Boyd-Dawkins compared the occurrence of Paleolithic 
harpoon types and carvings with those of the Eskimo 
and concluded that their obvious similarities meant a 
possible connection between the two. One must now 
recognize that although harpoons are found almost 
everywhere, the unique tools with holes in them, and 
the tendency toward artistically realistic objects, are 


hardly found in the same pattern of association. Now 
one must emphasize that the ornamental designs of 
prehistoric Europe also show a distinctive similarity to 
the designs of Arctic America. For example, a design 
of two carved parallel lines with short alternately placed 
grooves that point inward at a right angle and, when 
wide enough, create a zigzag pattern can be found in 
both areas, on ivory or bone. As far as I know, this 
design has not been discovered in any other part of 
the globe. I do not want to draw from these similari- 
ties the conclusion that the Boyd-Dawkins theory is 
proved. I do believe, however, that these similarities 
deserve our continued attention by way of keeping in 
mind the possibility of cultural links. 

Given the importance of this question, it seems 
appropriate to examine more closely the range of the 
mentioned ornamental types. When compared with 
the older collections from Europe, the collections made 
during the Jesup Expedition prove that the types and 
designs in Siberia evidently occur up to the Lena River, 
and in North America all the way east to northern 
Greenland. I myself have had the opportunity to in- 
spect large collections from southern Greenland. How- 
ever, my friend Dr. Thalbitzer tells me that he has seen 
no types of this sort in the Greenlandic collection in 
Copenhagen. I do not know whether these ornamen- 
tal types exist in prehistoric western Siberia and in Russia. 

Let us now turn to a discussion of the relationship 
of languages and the anthropological types of North- 
west America and Northeast Asia. 

According to the data collected by Mr. Bogoras 
and Mr. Jochelson, it seems safe to say that the iso- 
lated languages of Northeast Asia cannot be sepa- 
rated from the American languages on the basis of 
phonetic and morphological characteristics. However, 
one must remember that a unity of all American lan- 
guages, in the form proposed by earlier researchers, 
does not exist. Instead, we can group the colorful 
multitude of American languages into a number of 
morphological categories that display significant, even 
fundamental, differences among each other. Neither 

incorporation nor polysynthesis can be considered a 
specifically American language trait. The interpretation 
of these language family groups whose genetic rela- 
tion cannot yet be determined causes the same prob- 
lems in America as in other continents. I assume that 
this phenomenon is similar to the one that led Mr. 
Wilhelm Schmidt to group so many of the languages 
of Southeast Asia together and on which Lepsius al- 
ready focused in his study of African languages. 

Whatever the later interpretation of this problem 
may be, it does seem confirmed that the eastern group 
of the isolated Siberian languages leans more toward 
America than toward Central Asia and that if one must 
draw a line, they are best categorized with the Ameri- 
can languages. 

Physical anthropology studies in the area in ques- 
tion reveal similar conditions. Because of intrusions by 
Tungus and Yakut [Sakha— ed.] tribes. Northeast Sibe- 
rian tribes undoubtedly undera/ent assimilation, so that, 
for example, the Yukaghir have strong blood relations 
with the Tungus and Yakut. The Mongolian features of 
the Northeast Siberian peoples, which are especially 
expressed in the shape of the eye and nose, are thus 
strongly developed. On the other hand, the develop- 
ment of the cheekbones seems at the very least less 
prominent in the tribes of the Far East, such as the 
Chukchee and Koryak, than in the Yakut. 

In America, the purely Mongolian features increase 
significantly toward the Northwest. First and foremost, 
the strong development of the nose in the American 
Northwest disappears, as is typical among the peoples 
of Asia. The "Mongoloid eye" is more strongly devel- 
oped, although not with the same intensity as in Asia. 
The face shape approaches the flat Asiatic shape more 
and more, and even the skin color varies little between 
Asiatic and American peoples. 

So, it seems that the native Siberians and the Ameri- 
cans of the Northwest Coast constitute one entity. 

I am perhaps permitted to rephrase the problem 
of the position of the Native American population in 
light of this new information. Everything leads me to 


believe that humans have inhabited America for a long 
time. It has not yet been decided whether the migra- 
tion occurred before or after the last Ice Age, but all 
criticism by geologists notwithstanding, an early mi- 
gration may be supported in all probability. If we may 
assume such an early migration in America, it does not 
seem impossible that the isolated peoples of Siberia 
represent a postglacial back-migration out of America. 
On the other hand, it may also be possible that the 
white race, which has flooded the entire globe over 
the course of time, originally appeared as a localized 

Let us turn from these general questions, which 
inevitably lead to more or less uncertain hypotheses, 
to the specific results of the Jesup Expedition. I would 
first like to note that we were able to prove a signifi- 
cant number of shifts of populations and culture in 
America and Asia. Mr. Harlan I. Smith's archaeological 
research and the linguistic studies conducted by Mr. 
James Teit and myself all led to the same conclusion. 
The distribution of peoples in southern British Colum- 
bia has been changed by a wave of migration that 
brought Salish tribes from the interior across the Rocky 
Mountains to the coast. The coastal inhabitants have 
culturally assimilated these tribes almost completely. 
We have here the interesting theoretical example in 
which a totem and clan organization was acquired by 
a tribe that previously had a simple family organiza- 
tion. This transition has been found in a number of tribes 
that were subjected to the cultural influences of the 
coast. Thus we cannot assume the typically unspeci- 
fied development from totem organization to a sim- 
pler form. 

Our in-depth anthropological study of the residents 
of northern Vancouver Island supports the fact that 
the Native tribe here originally had a close connection 
to the tribes of the Columbia River. These relations 
would have been subsequently interrupted by the im- 
migration of inland tribes. 

A second interesting migration wave can be fol- 
lowed in northern British Columbia. The Tsimshian are 

part of the groups of the Alaskan coastal regions, which 
are characterized by strongly expressed high culture. 
Their myths and basic religious beliefs, however, point 
to a close association with the population of the north- 
ern section of the West American Plateau area. More 
specifically, these data point directly toward a con- 
nection with the cultural group represented by the 
Northern Shoshone. To fully clarify the matter, we will 
look at the extensive collection of material from the 
western parts of the Mackenzie River basin. It has al- 
ready been determined that the Tsimshian can be con- 
sidered new settlers in the coastal region. It is remark- 
able that their type of language is completely isolated 
and that it seems to be most closely related to the 
Shoshone and Kutenai groups. 

I have already discussed the probable shift of the 
Eskimo westward. 

Unfortunately, there is a total lack of precise infor- 
mation on the Aleut information that is imperative 
for a comprehensive solution to the problem we are 
discussing here. We should therefore greet with joy 
Mr. Waldemar Jochelson's preparations to study the 
Aleut in connection with the large Raboushinsky Expe- 
dition that has been planned. 

Aside from the more recent and documented inva- 
sions by the Tungus and Yakut in Northern Siberia, no 
similar larger movements can be proved in Asia. Mr. 
Bogoras and Mr. Jochelson have shown that the 
Kamchadal, the Koryak, and the Chukchee comprise a 
linguistic unit and that their original range of distribu- 
tion reached as far west as the Kolyma River. Mr. 
jochelson has finally determined the Chuvan people to 
be a branch of the Yukaghir. j 

One of the most important cultural-historical facts 
emerging from the expedition's research relates to the 
domestication of reindeer in East Asia and the con- 
spicuous and complete lack thereof in America. To 
put it briefly, it seems that West Siberian peoples use 
reindeer in the same way as their neighbors use cattle. 
The Central Siberians use the reindeer like Turkish 
people use the horse. In contrast East Siberians now 


use reindeer more like they once used the dog. From 
these and other facts, we may draw the conclusion 
that rein-deer breeding everywhere adjusts to the older 
culture of a people or to the cultural forms of its neigh- 
bors. With the East Siberian peoples, everything seems 
to support the idea that perhaps only a few centuries 
ago the Chukchee, as well as the Koryak, were purely 
coastal inhabitants with economic practices not un- 
like those of the Eskimo. A strong proliferation of these 
tribes and a peopling of the interior seem to have hap- 
pened only after the reindeer gradually started replac- 
ing the dog. Considering the lively exchange between 
Asia and America in the area of the Bering Strait, the 
complete lack of the reindeer culture alongside a lively 
trade in other cultural attainments in America can hardly 
be explained otherwise. A confirmation of this view 
also results from the unusual lack of adaptation of the 
Chukchee dwelling to the demands of the nomadic 
lifestyle. The Chukchee tent is to be understood archi- 
tecturally as an adaptation to the nomadic lifestyle of 

the Eskimo-type subterranean dwelling. In its heavy 
clumsiness, it differs surprisingly from the easily mobile 
tent of the Eskimo. 

I cannot discuss here in detail every conclusion of 
our whole endeavor. As expected, the members of 
the expedition have collected a wealth of ethnologi- 
cal, linguistic, and anthropological data. We originally 
estimated that these materials would be published in 
1 2 quarto volumes. Now that about 7 volumes have 
been published, we realize that there is too much in- 
formation for the planned size of the publication. How- 
ever, I hope we will reach a satisf/ing conclusion for 
the exploration Mr. Jesup so generously organized by 
publishing its complete results. 


This is a translation of Franz Boas (1 91 0), Die 
Resultate der Jesup Expedition. Internationaler 
Amehcanisten-Kongress 16, 1908. Erste Hdlfte, pp. 
3-1 8 (Vienna and Leipzig: A. Hartleben's Verlag). 
Printed as a separate issue in 1909. 


In Memort) of Douglas Co'e, 1 5^55-~l ^5>7 


Douglas Lowell Cole, of Simon Fraser University, died 
suddenly of a heart attack on August 18, 1997. He 
was not quite 59, and his death came as an unex- 
pected tragedy. It happened three months before the 
Jesup Expedition Centennial Conference in New York in 
1 997, where Cole was to deliver a plenary review pa- 
per with the same title as his chapter in this volume. 
His life and professional career have been covered at 
length by several posthumous publications, (see Cole, 
this volume), to which an interested reader can turn. 

In this era of virtual communications, personal con- 
nections are built quite differently than in the time of 
Boas and the Jesup North Pacific Expedition. I never 
met Douglas Cole in person, and we spoke by phone 
but once. Introduction to each other, progress in un- 
derstanding, and building of mutual respect all took 
place in cyberspace. The communication lasted for 
about a year, and it left a file of some 40 e-mail letters 
and messages. This is, of course, not much, but the 
result is this contribution of Cole to the Jesup volume 
and our deep sense of a sad loss. 

In April 1 996, Douglas Cole sent me a short letter 
expressing his interest in our forthcoming collection of 
papers on Boas and the Jesup Expedition. Of course, 
we knew of his book on the history of the Northwest 
Coast museum collections, Captured Heritage (1 985), 
and of his many other publications on Northwest Coast 
history and Franz Boas. In response, I wrote to him 
about the Jesup 2 program and invited him to exchange 
some materials of mutual interest. Intrigued, Cole of- 
fered to send us a rough cut excerpt of sections on 
the Jesup Expedition from his forthcoming biography 

of Boas for comments, advice, and criticism. As we 
read this first pasted draft, I invited him to rework it 
into a review paper on the expedition's history for our 
collection of Jesup essays. Within four months, we re- 
ceived a 60-page manuscript. 

This is however only part of the story. Douglas Cole 
had his special and quite distinctive view of Boas as a 
person and a scientist and of Boas' interactions with 
other prominent personalities of the time, and he did 
not flinch when his revisionist opinions contradicted 
many a popular perspective. In any convention of 
modern Boasian admirers, Douglas Cole was an indis- 
pensable and a challenging ingredient. His initial evalu- 
ation of the Jesup Expedition as an artificially inflated 
venture and merely a Boas failure was highly provoca- 
tive, at the least, and it was largely unfair, to our minds. 

In underlining this, I offered to include Cole's paper 
in our Jesup 2 volume as a "voice of dissent," reserving 
our right as editors to submit an editorial rejoinder. 
Although tough as an opponent, Douglas Cole was 
very keen in accepting criticism. Several letters followed, 
and many comments and materials were exchanged. 
The final result of this interaction is presented in the 
next chapter. It preserves Cole's original critical stand, 
though moderated to mutual satisfaction. 

Douglas Cole did not live to see the publication in 
1999 of his major scholarly volume, Franz Boas. The 
Early Years, 1 858- 1 906, or to personally meet the net- 
work of Jesup 2 researchers. This loss to our common 
studies of the Jesup Expedition history and legacy is 
indeed irreplaceable. We will miss Douglas Cole and 
his insights tremendously for many years to come. 


4/ Camp of the Reindeer Koryak and herd of reindeer, with the Jochelsons' field tent in the middle, 1901 
(AMNH 4168) 





(Undertaken htj f\/[uscum"? 

Y'ranz £)oa5, Morns Jesup, and the fNjorth f acifi'c Expedition 


Franz Boas was a curator in the Department of Anthro- 
pology at the American IVIuseum of Natural History 
(AMNH) for almost 1 years, from January 1 896 until 
May 1 905. From this Central Park West locale, he initi- 
ated numerous projects, some of which, such as an 
African and Asian missionary collection, were fruitless 
and forgotten. He invested his greatest ambition in 
three major museum initiatives: an East Asiatic project 
which, beginning with China, would move to the Phil- 
ippines and Malaya; a North American "Vanishing 
Tribes" project that hoped to salvage ethnological and 
linguistic information from the scores of North Ameri- 
can Native groups endangered by Euro-American settle- 
ment; and the jesup North Pacific Expedition to inves- 
tigate groups on both sides of the Bering Strait. 

The East Asiatic project placed Berthold Laufer in 
China from 1 901 to 1 904 but then collapsed. "Vanish- 
ing Tribes" went on fruitfully, though never at Boas' 
desired pace, both under him and under his successor, 
Clark Wissler. The Jesup Expedition, the most cherished 
of Boas' museum projects, ran for its full five years, 
produced a large quantity of publications, and exer- 
cised a continuing influence on research, especially on 
the western side of the Bering Strait. It was the show- 
piece of Boas' association with the AMNH. Recent 
evaluations of the Jesup Expedition have been kind. 
The expedition was "an anthropological tour de 
force," a "grandiose, brilliantly conceptualized, and 
masterfully orchestrated attack on one of the most 
important problems in American anthropology" 

(Fitzhugh and Crowell 1 988; 1 4) that "still ranks as the 
foremost expedition in the history of American anthro- 
pology" (Freed et al. 1 988b:7). 

The prime instigators had more ambivalent feel- 
ings. To AMNH President Morris K. Jesup, the expedi- 
tion had, by the time of his death in early 1 908, be- 
come a matter of "many disappointments," "an enter- 
prise that has involved expense and anxiety out of all 
proportion to the representations that were originally 
made" Oesup to Osborne, 30 April 1906, AMNH, File 
293b). Boas, too, faltered in his faith. Although he pub- 
licly praised Jesup and the expedition, he privately ex- 
pressed a wish to "simply dump the whole Jesup Ex- 
pedition and concern myself no further with it" (Franz 
Boas to Sophie Boas, 1 8 March 1 909, APS).' 


Born in Prussian Westphalia and educated at Heidel- 
berg, Bonn, and Kiel, Boas began his anthropological 
work during a yearlong expedition to Baffin Island. He 
sought a position, preferably in the United States, but 
could find nothing except a temporary assistantship 
at Berlin's Royal Ethnological Museum. There he en- 
countered its recent, rich Northwest Coast collections 
and had an opportunity to study briefly a group of 
touring Bella Coola [Nuxalk]. All the more intent on an 
American career (and, cherche la femme, on seeing his 
New York fiancee), he traveled to New York and, 
borrowing money from relatives, made a first visit 
to the Northwest Coast. He was then asked by the 

2 9 

Northwest Tribes Committee of the British Association 
for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) to survey the 
Native tribes of British Columbia, which were threat- 
ened by settlers brought in by the recently completed 
Canadian Pacific Railway. Boas made five more trips to 
the Northwest, on behalf of the BAAS or with the sup- 
port of the American Bureau of Ethnology. In the mean- 
time, he had secured a position with Science, a weekly 
New York journal, and had married Marie Krackowitzer, 
the American-born daughter of an Austrian "Forty- 
Eighter," one of the liberal-minded Germans who had 
left after the disappointment of the Revolution of 1 848. 

Boas had come to the United States in part be- 
cause of the opportunity it offered as a raw scientific 
field. But rawness carried, as he soon found, the prob- 
lem of there being few positions. He suffered a series 
of false starts: at Science, at the new Clark University 
[in Worcester, Mass.], at the Chicago World's Fair [the 
1 893 World's Columbian Exposition], and at Chicago's 
new Field Museum. In 1 896, however, his chief at the 
Chicago Fair, Frederic W. Putnam, who had become 
curator of anthropology at the AMNH as well as direc- 
tor of Harvard University's Peabody Museum, wedged 
him into an assistant curatorial position at AMNH and 
a lecturer's appointment at Columbia College. From 
these posts. Boas' training, disciplinary breadth, abil- 
ity, and incredible industriousness allowed him to be- 
come a commanding presence in his field. 

Boas had arrived at the AMNH at a bad time. The 
country was in a severe depression, with the museum's 
trustees and donors made all the more nervous by the 
growth of the populism, free silver, and single tax move- 
ments. The Anthropology Department received no ac- 
quisition budget in 1 896, and the museum's president, 
Morris K. Jesup, soon had regrets that he had taken on 
Boas' salary commitment. Jesup had, however, already 
decided that the Anthropology Department, along 
with vertebrate paleontology, should receive priority 
treatment. To this end he had hired Putnam, the best 
man he could get as curator, and had agreed to take 
on Boas as an associate curator. 

The accidental arrival of a damaged collection of 
British Columbian artifacts in New York allowed Boas 
to break Jesup's budget restrictions, although the presi- 
dent expressed surprise that the museum's Northwest 
Coast collections, among its strongest areas, should 
need supplementing. Boas assured him that it would 
be the easiest matter in the world to spend $3,000 on 
that region (Boas to Putnam, 1 8 December 1 896, HUA, 
Box 8). Since this area of the KwakiutI [Kwak- 
waka'wakw], Bella Coola [Nuxalk], and Salish was his 
special interest. Boas was anxious to fill gaps. The sal- 
vage purchase was a mere tidbit. Boas had his eye on 
much more. 

He realized immediately the value to research and 
collecting represented by the wealth of the AMNH's 
trustees and friends. Late in 1 896, he drafted a letter 
to Henry Villard, sponsor of the museum's Peru and 
Bolivia expeditions, proposing that Villard, the former 
president of the Northern Pacific Railway and now pro- 
prietor of the Evening Po5f (and a fellow German Ameri- 
can), contribute toward filling the gap. With several 
thousand dollars over the next two years. Boas wrote, 
the museum "should have the most thorough and I 
may say a complete collection from the region be- 
tween Columbia River and Mt. St. Elias" (Boas to Villard, 
23 December 1 896, AMNH, Acc. 1 897-30). The letter 
proved unnecessary. Jesup himself soon took up a much 
more extensive proposal for an elaborate exploration 
of the anthropological affinities between Asia and North 

Boas put this idea, which had matured for well over 
a year, before Jesup on January 19, 1897. Describing 
the question of the influence between Old and New 
World cultures as one of the most important problems 
of American anthropology. Boas proposed in his letter 
to Jesup a systematic ethnological and archaeological 
investigation of both sides of the North Pacific. (See 
Appendix A, this chapter). Fragmentary study, he wrote, 
had demonstrated the commonality of certain cultural 
elements in the two regions. Bows, body armor, and 
canoes, for example, had common features. The great 



diversity of language along both coasts was striking, 
but since the languages on the Asian side were practi- 
cally unknown, it was unclear whether there were any 
actual linguistic similarities. Particular points of mytho- 
logical coincidence suggested early communication. 
Northwest Coast Indians physically resembled the 
Asians more than did any other American stock. 

In short, there are so many points of similar- 
ity between the tribes of this whole region 
that we are justified in expecting that here a 
mutual influence between the cultures of the 
Old and of the New World has existed. Thus 
a foundation for the solution of this impor- 
tant problem with all its important bearings 
upon the ancient civilisation of America may 
be laid in this region. (Boas to Jesup, 1 9 
January 1897, HUA, Putnam Papers, Box 16) 

Conveying his ingrained sense of salvage urgency, 
Boas noted that everywhere, but especially on the 
Asian side, the culture of the people was rapidly dis- 
appearing "and the whole work is becoming more dif- 
ficult from year to year."^ 

Jesup's imagination was struck by the great prob- 
lem of Asian-American contacts. He "got very much 
interested in that question" (Putnam 1 902) and, in his 
annual report written in January 1 897 commented that 
"the theory that America was originally peopled by 
migrating tribes from the Asian continent" was a sub- 
ject of great interest to scientists. Opportunities for 
solving this problem were rapidly disappearing, Jesup 
continued, and he then asked that friends of the mu- 
seum contribute toward a systematic investigation of 
the problem Qesup 1897:24-5). 

Before there was an opportunity for a response to 
his appeal, Jesup himself jumped. On February 9 he 
told Boas that he wanted personally to take up the 
plan and asked for a detailed scheme for carrying it 
out. Boas was overwhelmed. "Mr. Jesup looks at the 
proposed expedition in the light that it will be the 
greatest thing ever undertaken by any Museum either 
here or abroad and that it will give the Institution an 
unequalled standing in scientific circles" (Boas to Putnam, 
1 1 February 1 897, HUA, Box 8; emphasis added)." Thus 


began the Jesup North Pacific Expedition to investi- 
gate affinities between the peoples of Northeast Asia 
and Northwest America. 

Jesup's move was not uncharacteristic. A self-made 
man of considerable wealth, generous with his time 
and money, he had always been sympathetic to grand 
designs and large-scale ideas: he had underwritten the 
Jesup Collection of North American Woods, some 10 
years in acquisition, and the Jesup Collection of Eco- 
nomic Entomology and was now supporting the polar 
aspirations of Commander Robert E. Peary. Boas had 
put before him a vast project that promised to ad- 
dress the fundamental question of the relationship 
between Asia and aboriginal America. He accepted 
the challenge. 

Jesup's decision launched Boas into frenzied ac- 
tion. He visited Leonhard Stejneger, a Smithsonian natu- 
ralist familiar with the Siberian coast, in Washington, 
D.C., and wrote to some orientalists to ask about young 
men suitable for Siberian work. The matter was made 
all the more urgent because Jesup had seized on the 
expedition as a lever for securing another museum wing 
from the New York state legislature. The public an- 
nouncement, made a little too hastily for Boas' taste 
but dictated by the state assembly's calendar, was 
released for March 1 2 newspaper editions. (Boas had 
to provide details and corrections to reporters over 
the next two days.) "The main object of the expedi- 
tion is to investigate and establish the ethnological 
relations between the races of America and Asia, and 
is intended as a contribution to the solution of that 
question." Field parties would work on the American 
West Coast, along the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, 
and in the northern portion of the Bering Sea. The ex- 
pedition will be the greatest, it is said, in point of time 
spent and territory traversed ever backed by private 
individuals in this line of research" {New York Times, 1 3 
March 1897, 2:5). 

The roots of Boas' intercontinental project, now 
Jesup's, reached back to well before Boas' employ- 
ment in Jesup's museum. In 1895 Boas had sounded 

3 1 

out people in Berlin about a prospective fieldworker 
and had then investigated, through Stejneger, trans- 
portation routes to Siberia's Amur River region 
(Stejneger to Boas, 1 6 November, 1 1 December 1 895). 
An expedition, he told Berlin sinologist Wilhelm Crube, 
"had in the last year almost come to fruition twice" 
(Boas to Grube, reported in Boas to Laufer, 5 May 1 896, 
AMNH, Acc. 1900-12). What Boas meant, at a time 
when he was without a position, is unclear, but he 
certainly foresaw an investigation of the relationship 
between Siberian and Northwest American groups. 

During that same Berlin summer he had raised, more 
explicitly than ever, the question of the probable con- 
nections between Asian and American peoples. A num- 
ber of complicated British Columbian myths, he told 
the Berlin Geographical Society, showed such similar- 
ity with Old World myths that a cultural connection 
between the two continents was very probable. The 
distribution of other phenomena, including physical 
type, pressed toward the same conclusion and made 
it probable that firm links between the cultural areas of 
both worlds would be found (Boas 1 895b:266-70). 

Boas' interest in the question of intercontinental 
relationships arose in large part from the publication 
that summer of his book Indianische Sagen (Boas 
1895a). Breaking up myths into elements, he showed 
the mixture of these among the coastal and interior 
groups of the Northwest and traced some far beyond, 
to the Mackenzie and Mississippi River basins, the North 
Atlantic coast, and along the Arctic, to Greenland. The 
mythologies of the Northwest tribes also incorporated 
foreign elements from the Old World. 

According to a letter Boas wrote to a German edi- 
tor in 1 897, he had long collected collaborating data 
for the mutual influences of the coastal inhabitants of 
these areas. His reading of Georg Steller's 18th-cen- 
tury description of Kamchatka "transposes me almost 
directly into familiar Northwest American surroundings," 
but he had been especially struck by Grube's recent 
article in Globus on shamanism among the Nanay 
people of Siberia's lower Amur River (Boas to Andree, 


4 May 1897, AMNH-DA, Jesup Ex. File). Some legends 
recounted there coincided almost exactly with those 
of the Northwest Coast, which, more importantly, were 
limited in North America solely to those coastal groups.^ 
Other data argued emphatically for an early influence 
on Northwest Coast cultures. 

The Jesup Expedition would be pursued within the 
research strategy that Boas had now developed. This 
was to be an explicit demonstration of the efficacy of 
the historical method of anthropological research. "I 
believe," he wrote to Globus editor Richard Andree, 
"that our science urgently requires an investigation of 
the historical development of the cultures of primitive 
peoples in order to obtain a clear understanding of the 
laws of cultural development." The Jesup Expedition 
would cover an area "unusually favorable" for such a 
method since "the major influences have occurred along 
a direct coastline" (Boas to Andree, 4 May 1 897, AMNH- 
DA, Jesup Ex. File). This would be an opportunity. Boas 
told Edward. B. Tylor, for a rigid adherence to the his- 
torical method, whose superiority over the compara- 
tive method he had recently asserted in a paper at the 
Buffalo meeting of the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science (AAAS). "I want to investi- 
gate the geographical distribution of certain customs 
and characteristics over continuous areas." The histori- 
cal method meant that "we shall not obtain dazzling 
results, but I hope such as will stand the criticism of 
later times" (Boas to Tylor, 1 3 April 1 897, Balfour Li- 
brary, Oxford, Tylor Papers). The Buffalo paper, "The 
Limitations of the Comparative Method of Anthropol- 
ogy," had been a reassertion of Boas' decade-old point 
that generalization must come from careful investiga- 
tion and induction, not from a priori assumptions. The 
method required a limitation to a restricted and well- 
defined territory, with comparisons that did not ex- 
tend beyond the limits of the cultural area itself. 

A detailed study of customs in their relation 
to the total culture of the tribe practicing 
them, in connection with an investigation of 
their geographical distribution among 
neighboring tribes, affords us almost always 


a means of determining with considerable 
accuracy the historical causes that led to the 
formation of the customs in question and to 
the psychological processes that were at 
work in their development. (Boas 1896b) 

Boas' criticism was methodological and was con- 
cerned in large part with the weakness of the "com- 
parative method" (Carneiro 1 973; Leopold 1 980; Stock- 
ing 1987), but he did mention the research area that 
he already had in mind. While no one believed that 
slight similarities between Central American and East 
Asian cultures were satisfactory proof of a historical 
connection, "no unbiased observer will deny that there 
are very strong reasons for believing that a limited num- 
ber of cultural elements found in Alaska and in Siberia 
have a common origin" (Boas 1896b, 1940:277).^ 

Fieldwork in America's North Pacific Region 

The first season's work of the Jesup Expedition would 
be confined to British Columbia in order to give Boas 
time to organize the Siberian work for the following 
year. He had already been planning a summer trip to 
the coast, partly in the museum's interest, partly to 
prepare a final report for the BAAS's Northwest Tribes 
committee. He had originally arranged for only a two- 
month trip, one month of which would be without 
museum pay, although with BAAS assistance.'' Now it 
became a four-month first field season of the Jesup 
North Pacific Expedition. 

"I go west better equipped than ever before," he 
wrote before his May departure (Boas to parents, 9 
April 1 897). More money was part of it; so too was his 
new intimacy with the museum's collection. Equally 
satisf/ing was the presence of collaborators and com- 
panions who, though often pursuing their own assigned 
work, would be with him much of the summer. 

He was mostly with Harlan Smith, the taciturn young 
man from East Saginaw, N.Y., whom he had known 
since the Chicago Fair. Smith was just 25. A boyhood 
interest in Indian remains had led him to Putnam and 
archaeology. Boas liked the bachelor archaeologist. 
"His heart is in the right place and he is absolutely 

reliable," but he doubted that Smith would ever amount 
to much in archaeology. Although resourceful, clever, 
and good with his hands. Smith lagged behind in any- 
thing to do with real scholarship. The "many gaps" in 
his knowledge were obvious, his questions were "un- 
believably simple," and he was unable to "see the con- 
nection between his work and the general broad ques- 
tions of anthropology" (Boas to parents, 1 5 August 
1897; F. Boas to M. Boas, 21 August 1897; Boas to 
Putnam, 10 April 1900, HUA, Putnam Papers). 

A second companion was 30-year-old Columbia 
psychologist Livingston Farrand, who now lectured in 
ethnology as well. Farrand, totally inexperienced infield- 
work, wanted to apprentice with Boas and volunteered 
to go west at his own expense. That had not gone 
over well with Jesup, who, taking a "narrow-minded" 
view, wanted no outsiders on his great expedition (Boas 
to parents, 9 April 1 987). Boas' long letter turned the 
situation, and although Farrand's field assignments were 
largely separate from his own. Boas found that Farrand's 
gaiety, unassuming naturalness, and good manners 
made him a pleasant companion (F. Boas to parents, 9 
April, 27 May, 15 June 1897; reproduced in Rohner 

The three New Yorkers arrived in British Columbia 
at the beginning of June and traveled immediately to 
Spences Bridge in the southern interior. There they ren- 
dezvoused with James Teit, the Scotsman whom Boas 
had first met in 1 894. Teit had prepared things well, 
securing local NIaka'pamux [Thompson Indians] for the 
physical measurements that Boas wished to take. While 
Smith went on to dig in Kamloops and Lytton (see 
Thom, this volume), Boas and Farrand, guided by Teit, 
began a long horseback trip northwestward along the 
Eraser River, across the Chilcotin plateau, and over the 
Coast Range to the Bella Coola [Nuxalk] on the Pacific. 
Farrand detached himself at Puntzi Lake when Boas 
decided that the Chilcotin were so interesting that 
they deserved a month of Farrand's time. The over- 
land journey took 38 often unpleasant days: rain 
poured over the 1 0-horse pack train in the usually dry 


interior, bogging down the horses. Rations seldom 
strayed from beans and bacon. Natives along the way 
were not keen to allow themselves to be measured. 
Only the beauty of the mountains and valleys made 
much of the journey rewarding. 

Bella Coola, remote as it was, came as a relief. There 
Boas found a welcome bed at the home of John 
Clayton, a local storekeeper, and enjoyed the dietary 
change to fresh salmon. More important, George Hunt, 
Boas' collaborator from Fort Rupert, had done his ad- 
vance work well. The two worked together every 
morning, going over the Kwak'wala texts that Hunt 
had been sending East, with the balance of the day 
spent investigating Bella Coola religious ideas. 

Boas then went north to Port Essington on the 
Skeena River to measure, make casts, and identify 
museum pieces. There he met Charles Edenshaw, a 
Haida artist, and hired him to identify items from the 
museum's collection and to show him something of 
northern art and the basics of Haida ethnology. Boas 
then spent two weeks with Hunt among the 
Kwakwaka'wakw [Kwakiult] of Rivers Inlet. That con- 
cluded Boas' fieldwork. He met up with Farrand, and 
the two left for New York, while Smith stayed on with 
his excavations until winter rains drove him home in 

Boas was pleased with the season. They had made 
over a hundred plaster-of-paris facial casts and many 
more body measurements. Boas had enough informa- 
tion from Edenshaw to write the first contribution to 
the Jesup Expedition series, "Facial Paintings of the In- 
dians of Northern British Columbia" (Boas 1 898a), which 
enlarged on the place of geometric design in North- 
west Coast decorative art. He had also corrected and 
revised over 300 pages of Hunt's texts and had gath- 
ered new material, all of which was published as "The 
Mythology of the Bella Coola Indians" (Boas 1 898b), 
on the peculiar cosmology of that group. Farrand, un- 
fortunately, "had not done very much" (F. Boas to M. 
Boas, 1 3 September 1 897). The Chilcotin had been 
less than cordial, and Farrand had not been able to 

find a good interpreter. His collection of legends, how- 
ever incomplete, did show "a not very rich indepen- 
dent mythology, but a surprising receptivity to foreign 
influences" (Farrand 1 900:4). 

Smith's archaeological results seemed very impor- 
tant. The older shell mounds of the coast revealed a 
skull type resembling that of the interior, while yet older 
ones contained deformed skulls related to those of 
the Koskimo Kwakiutl. This seemed to indicate that at 
an earlier time a rather uniform population had pre- 
vailed along the coast from the Columbia River to 
northern British Columbia and that the various types 
now found on the coast stemmed from migration of 
Indians from the interior, with the earlier population 
prevailing now only on the Columbia River and north- 
ern Vancouver Island (Boas, unpublished lectures, Feb- 
ruary 1898:17; Seattle 1985). 

Boas did not participate in the next two Jesup Ex- 
pedition field seasons. Farrand returned to the coast in 
1 898 to investigate two Olympic Peninsula groups, 
the Quinault and the Quileute. Despite considerable 
disappointment, he collected enough to show a myth 
transition from the Northwest Coast toward the Chi- 
nook (Farrand and Kahnweiler 1 902:79-80). In the same 
season. Smith made excavations in Puget Sound and 
at Lillooet and then continued his archeological work 
in 1 899 on Vancouver Island. The results seemed to 
confirm an early migration from the interior to the coast 
and to Vancouver Island that carried with it the art of 
stone chipping and geometric decoration (Smith 

Boas himself went west in 1 900, the fourth year of 
the expedition. His field season in British Columbia was 
relatively simple: six days with Teit in the Nicola Valley 
and then two full months at Alert Bay. 

Teit had proved to be the treasure that Boas had 
anticipated at their first meeting in 1 894. At that time 
Teit, age 30, had been in British Columbia for 1 2 years. 
Raised in the Shetland Islands, he had left school at 1 6 
and two years later had joined an uncle who ran a 
store in Spences Bridge. Teit was soon drawn into the 



Native world: within three years of his arrival he was 
living with Lucy Antko, a NIaka'pamux woman whom 
he officially married in 1 892 (Wickwire 1 993). He made 
his living by a variety of frontier occupations: packing, 
guiding, freighting, and serving as a big-game hunting 
guide. By the time Boas met him, Teit was already se- 
riously studying the Indians around him. By 1900 he 
had finished, in addition to several small pieces, a vol- 
ume containing Thompson [NIaka'pamux] texts and a 
review of their ethnography, which was now in press 
as ajesup Expedition publication (Teit 1898, 1900). 

Boas' purpose in meeting Teit on this trip was 
largely to take anthropometric measurements of the 
Indians south of Spences Bridge. Boas— soon stiff and 
sore— rode on the horse familiar from the Bella Coola 
trek from village to village with Teit, then survived the 
eight-hour, 41 -mile return to Teit's home. Furnished with 
only a table, two chairs, and a bed, the one-room cabin 
was filled with books about Indians and the Shetlands. 
"Mr. Teit can give us all an example of great industry 
and of the unassuming fulfillment of duty," Boas wrote 
his children (29June 1 900). After looking through Teit's 
notes, Boas boarded the train for Vancouver and then 
the boat to Alert Bay. 

At Alert Bay he enjoyed comfortable accommo- 
dation with George Hunt's brother-in-law, the merchant 
S. A. Spencer, and had the daytime use of a small cabin 
where he could work with the Kwakwaka'wakw. He 
found a good interpreter in William Brotchie for the 
language and a painter to explain details of the art. 
Older men came by to tell him stories, and he sought 
out recipes and information on food preparation and 
medicines from the women. The sole difficulty was 
that Hunt was kept busy in Spencer's cannery, and so, 
for most of the time, he could help Boas only in the 
evenings and on Sundays. 

It was during this Jesup Expedition period that the 
collaboration between Boas and Hunt solidified. Al- 
though Boas had worked with Hunt since 1888, 
particularly for the Chicago Fair and then at Fort Rupert 
in the winter of 1894-95, and Hunt had long been 


sending Kwakwaka'wakw stories to Boas, the British 
Columbia Native had never gained his full confidence. 
Both at the Chicago Fair and at Fort Rupert, Boas had 
found Hunt difficult to deal with and too lazy to use 
his brain. In 1 897, however. Hunt had come to Bella 
Coola and prepared things well for Boas' arrival. Boas 
did find Hunt unbelievably clumsy with the Rivers Inlet 
dialect of Kwak'wala, but he had time to improve Hunt's 
general orthography (Berman 1991; Cannizzo 1983; 
Jacknis 1991; Rohner 1969:183, 214, 21 1, 236). 

The son of an English-born Hudson's Bay Company 
employee and his high-born Tlingit wife. Hunt grew up 
in Fort Rupert, where his father was normally the only 
white man. Although he could not necessarily con- 
sider himself Kwakwaka'wakw, he was raised almost 
as one. His knowledge of the Fort Rupert language 
needed little qualification. He was an initiate in the 
Hamatsa, the highest Kwakwaka'wakw dance soci- 
ety, he acquired shaman credentials, and he might have 
participated in a cannibal ceremony. For the latter he 
suffered a penalty: though he was acquitted of the 
charge, the trial cost him over $400 (Cole and Chaikin 
1990:73-5). He twice married high-born 
Kwakwaka'wakw women and raised his large family 
within Indian society. 

By 1 900, Boas was satisfied with Hunt and his com- 
mand of language and tradition. His experience with 
him that summer, when he was able to check Hunt's 
versions against Brotchie's, confirmed Hunt's ability. "I 
find him quite dependable, more than I had thought" 
(F. Boas to M. Boas, 1 6 August 1 900). While retaining 
reservations about Hunt's linguistic idiosyncrasies, his 
tendency toward a formal style, and his command of 
Kwak'wala grammar. Boas felt confident with Hunt's 
material (Berman 1991:27-36). Hunt would continue 
to send texts to Boas for the rest of his life. 

Boas left Alert Bay and British Columbia satisfied. 
He had a much clearer understanding of the "terribly 
difficult" Kwak'wala language and was now, after work- 
ing with Hunt in 1 897 and again in 1 900, in a position 
to publish many of the texts he had been collecting 

3 5 

for six years. He thought he also had enough material 
for a detailed description of the manners and customs 
of the Kwakwaka'wakw. "That," he wrote, "will make 
a very peculiar cultural picture" (F. Boas to S. Boas, 1 6 
August 1 900). 

Boas' 1 900 trip was virtually the last on the Ameri- 
can side of the Jesup Expedition. Hunt and Teit would 
work in their own areas over the next two years, but 
the only visitor was John R. Swanton, whom Boas had 
assigned to the Queen Charlotte Islands. Swanton was 
a Putnam student, a well-trained Harvard Ph.D. who 
had studied linguistics under Boas at Columbia. 
Swanton worked for the Bureau of American Ethnol- 
ogy, which paid his salary on this trip while the AMNH 
paid expenses. He was instructed to study the Haida 
language, religion, and social organization while he col- 
lected specimens for the museum (Boas to Swanton, 5 
June 1 900, AMNH, Acc. 1901-31). He left much of the 
artifact collecting to the Victoria physician turned mu- 
seum collector C. F. Newcombe so that he could con- 
centrate on language, mythology, and ethnology. 

Fieldwork in Siberia 

The Asian side of the expedition was more difficult to 
organize. Boas had had one man, Berthold Laufer, in 
mind for the southern portion of the work since 1 895, 
when Crube had mentioned his name to Boas as a 
promising young scholar. Laufer, son of a Cologne con- 
fectioner, was nearly finished with his degree and came 
with strong recommendations from Leipzig and Berlin, 
where he had studied Eastern languages, religions, and 
cultures. He had, moreover, sat in on lectures by Berlin 
anthropologists Adolf Bastian, Felix von Luschan, and 
Eduard Seler. Unfortunately, Laufer still had before him 
his military obligation. Boas, even though he as yet 
had no expedition arranged, suggested that Laufer 
complete his service as soon as possible so that he 
would be available should a Siberian worker be re- 
quired. Laufer did so, receiving his degree, magna cum 
laude, while in the army. Formally appointed in May 
1 897, he came early next year to New York to prepare 

for his Siberian work, in March, just as he was sched- 
uled to depart, the museum received word that his 
visa had been refused by the Russian Interior Ministry 
(see Vakhtin, this volume). Laufer was a Jew, and Jews 
were not allowed into Siberia [by the Russian govern- 
ment— ed.]. 

It was all very difficult and embarrassing. Boas had 
Just arranged a large farewell reception for the trav- 
eler, and Laufer might never be able to leave. Working 
with urgency. Boas went to Washington to meet with 
officials at the State Department, where, in Jesup's 
name, he pulled all the possible strings. He touched 
base with Andrew White, the U.S. representative in 
Berlin, but first reliance was put on the American minis- 
ter to St. Petersburg, Ethan A. Hitchcock, who spoke 
with the interior minister. The minister, Ivan Goremykin, 
remained immovable, replying, in every instance, "sim- 
ply that it was against the law to grant such request— 
Dr. Laufer being a German Jew who were prohibited 
from entering Siberia." Vasily V. Radloff of the Imperial 
Russian Academy of Sciences accomplished what dip- 
lomats could not. He called on Grand Duke 
Constantine, who served as president of the academy, 
and on the governor of Siberia, then in the capital. 
Suddenly, word reached New York that Laufer had, by 
special permission of Tsar Nicholas II, been authorized 
to visit Sakhalin and the Amur River (Zvolianski to 
Olarovsky, 1 2 March 1 898, AMNH-DA, Jesup Ex. File; 
Hitchcock to Jesup, 4 April, 23 April 1 898; G. Dewollant 
to Jesup, 26 April 1 898). Laufer was aboard the next 
steamer. He arrived in Yokohama on May 23. 

Accompanying Laufer was an archaeologist, 
Gerard Fowke. Fowke was one of Putnam's un- 
schooled proteges, although he had most recently 
worked for W. H. Holmes and the Bureau of American 
Ethnology in Washington. Already in his forties, he had 
been digging mounds and other sites in the eastern 
United States for over a decade. The two men were a 
mismatch: Fowke, the unrefined American outdoors- 
man, almost 20 years older than Laufer, with scant 
university training; Laufer, the aesthetic, urbane, and 



scholarly European (Ohio Archeological and Historical 
Society 1929). Laufer, Fowke judged, was a "book- 
student, 25 years old" with "no practical sense, but 
any amount of theoretical knowledge'— "Can'i tie a 
string, drive a nail or whittle a stick; hell of a man for a 
wilderness trip!" (Fowke to W. H. Holmes, 5 March 1 898, 
NAA, Folder 44).'° Fowke's attitude carried on into Si- 
beria. "Laufer is a good fellow," Fowke told Boas, but, 
as a fieldworker, "he is helpless." That tone enraged 
Boas, who was partial to the young German. Fowke 
had been sent to work with Laufer, not to sneer at him. 
Even more, Fowke's archaeology had been, on his own 
admission, a "dismal fizzle." He found nothing on the 
Amur River, complaining that the banks were too 
densely covered with vegetation to dig and that the 
river had constantly changed its course. Boas was dis- 
gusted but recommended that Fowke remain in Japan 
for three months of excavation on shell heaps. Even 
that hope of salvaging something from Fowke's ex- 
pense was a failure (Fowke to Boas, 1 5 September 

1898, AMNH, Acc. 1900-17; Boas to Fowke, 12 Sep- 
tember 1898; Fowke 1899; Boas tojesup, 19 January 

1899, AMNH,JesupEx. File). 

Laufer attributed the difficulty to Fowke's unwill- 
ingness to adjust. "As a true American he cannot and 
will not set himself into the new Russian relationships 
and rejects everything that comes his way." Laufer was 
certain that, with energy and concentration, things 
would be found on the Amur River (Laufer to Boas, 4 
March 1899, AMNH, Acc. 1900-12). 

While Fowke was dabbling on the Amur River and 
then in Japan, Laufer spent eight months, from July 1 898 
to March 1 899, on the east coast of Sakhalin Island 
working among the Nivkh, Tungus [Uilta— ed.], and Ainu 
peoples. Field conditions were difficult; travel was by 
horseback, reindeer sledge, and dog sled; and for two 
and a half months Laufer was ill with influenza that 
turned to pneumonia. Worse yet, he could find no in- 
terpreter for his ethnological work: no Nivkh knew more 
than the most common Russian phrases, and the Ainu 
were not very familiar with Japanese. Having traveled 

down the east coast of the island, he returned north to 
Nikolayevsk in time to cross the ice to the mainland 
before the spring breakup. Here he settled at 
Khabaravsk on the Amur River to study the Nanay, 
with whom Crube had also worked. With the spring 
thaw, he traveled downriver, stopping at various Nanay 
and Nivkh villages until he reached the river mouth in 
August. By October he had finished the season, travel- 
ing over Vladivostok to Yokohama, where he spent 
the remaining weeks of 1899 packing his collection 
before sailing for New York (Boas 1903:93-8). 

Boas found Laufer's huge assemblage of art and 
artifacts exceptionally interesting. So too was Laufer 
himself. Looking forward to Laufer's February arrival. 
Boas confessed, "I take a great interest in the young 
fellow as if he were my own young brother." Once in 
the city, Laufer became the Boases' frequent guest, 
often for dinner twice a week. "It is amusing," Boas 
commented, "to see how my earlier feelings return with 
this young fellow. He told me today that he wanted 
to tear up all his Siberian work and begin it all over 
again." That, Boas observed, was just the same as he 
had been with his Baffin Island research. (F. Boas to S. 
Boas, 1 2 January, 20 February 1 900). 

Laufer's Siberian difficulties paled before those of 
thejesup Expedition's northern researchers. Boas had 
had problems even finding someone for the job. He 
had initially been in touch with Freiherr Erwin von Zach, 
an Austrian studying in Leiden." Boas was impressed 
by his credentials and engaged him in May 1 897, only 
to have the arrangement collapse in August. There were 
doubts about von Zach's ability to endure Siberian 
hardships, but Boas blamed Leiden museum director J. 
D. E. Schmelz for the Austrian's withdrawal (unknown 
correspondent to Boas, 21 September 1897; F. Boas 
to M. Boas, 21 August 1897). Boas then fell back on 
Vasily Radloff, who was later to help with Laufer's visa 
problem. Radloff recommended two experienced 
Siberian fieldworkers, Waldemar Jochelson and 
Waldemar Bogoras (Radloff to Boas, 23 May 1898, 
AMNH, Acc. 1901-70). In the summer of 1898, Boas 


met in Germany with Radloff and Jochelson and con- 
firmed arrangements for the two Russians, who after 
making equipment purchases, sailed to New Yorl< to 
secure Boas' instructions and receive tutoring in 
anthropometrics (see Vakhtin, this volume). 

Boas found them "very curious" men, "so different" 
in personality from western Europeans. Marie did not 
particularly like either, in part because they kept Franz 
until late in the evening and everything was put on 
hold at home "until the Russians go" (F. Boas to S. Boas, 
6 March 1900; M. Boas to S. Boas, 23 March 1900). 
The Russians left for San Francisco in late March 1 900, 
sailing then to Nagasaki and finally to Vladivostok. 

Siberia was familiar territory to both Jochelson and 
Bogoras. Their experience there was initially as politi- 
cal exiles, and their friendship was cemented in a com- 
mon attachment to Narodnaia volia (Peoples' Will), a 
radical populist group that did not shun violence. Both 
used their exile to study the local indigenes— avoca- 
tions that became a profession. Jochelson, the elder of 
the two, had spent three years in isolated confinement 
before being transferred to Yakutsk and then to the 
mouth of the Kolyma River on the Arctic Ocean (F. 
Boas to S. Boas, 27 August 1903). He then worked 
with the Yukagir with the Imperial Geographical 
Society's expedition. Bogoras, with the Sibiryakov Ex- 
pedition, did research on the Chukchi, which he was 
now seeing through publication. At the time of his 
engagement, Jochelson was registered for a doctoral 
program in Switzerland, where his wife, DinaJochelson- 
Brodsky, was studying medicine, but he was willing to 
interrupt his work, and his wife's. 

The Jochelson-Bogoras expeditions can only be de- 
scribed as heroic. Arriving in Vladivostok in May 1 900, 
the party split. The Bogorases went to Mariinsky Post 
on the Anadyr River, the most remote Russian settle- 
ment in Northeast Asia, to study the Reindeer and 
Maritime Chukchi and the Asiatic Eskimo [Yupik]. Mrs. 
Bogoras remained there while Waldemar Bogoras trav- 
eled to the Sea of Okhotsk to meet Jochelson. There 
he lent his Chukchi linguistic ability to studying the 

language of the Koryak, a related group. After their 
midwinter work among the Kamchatka Koryak, 
Bogoras left on his own for the west coast of the 
Kamchatka Peninsula to collect material from the 
Itelmen [Kamchadal] and then, after more study of the 
Chukchi and Yup'ik on the Chukchi Peninsula, traveled 
to St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Strait. He returned 
to Anadyr by Native boat, a voyage of 28 days, to 
meet Mrs. Bogoras, who had remained there to make 
collections along the Anadyr River valley. They left in 
August for Vladivostok by steamer and, after shipping 
their collections to New York, returned to St. Peters- 
burg by rail. Illness delayed their departure to New 
York; the couple arrived there only in April 1 902. 

Jochelson and his wife Dina had an even more dif- 
ficult trip. Half the winter was spent among the Mari- 
time Koryak in underground dwellings filled with smoke, 
stench, and lice. The other half was spent among the 
interior camps of the Reindeer Koryak in bitter cold. 
They had had to search out the Koryak, who had fled 
to the mountains to escape an epidemic. That neces- 
sitated a difficult trek by horse across the boggy tun- 
dra. Summer boat trips to Tungus [Even] and Maritime 
Koryak groups were accompanied by privation. The 
Jochelsons stayed on, as planned, for another year to 
study the Yukagir of the Kolyma region.'^ That required 
a difficult 56-day trip across unmapped mountains to 
famine-plagued villages, then on to Yakutsk before re- 
turning to St. Petersburg via Irkutsk in the summer of 
1902. They had traveled some 8,000 miles by foot, 
sled, boat, or horse. 

The research portion of the expedition ended in 
1902, although Boas sought to fill in and round out 
parts of it after that. Hunt continued to work on the 
Northwest Coast, gathering texts and other informa- 
tion and collecting objects for the museum not only 
from the Kwakwaka'wakw but also from the Nuu- 
chah-nulth [Nootka]. Teit labored on among the inte- 
rior groups, collecting material for later volumes on the 
Lillooet and Secwepemc [Shuswap] and on Thomp- 
son myths. Otherwise, field activities for Jesup's great 



expedition were over when the Jochelsons arrived in 
Irkutsk late in the summer of 1 902 (Boas to Jochelson, 
5 December 1898, AMNH-DA, Jesup Ex. File; Boas to 
Jochelson, 24 March 1900, AMNH, Acc. 1901-70). 

Working Up the Results 

Boas wished for more. He requested money to pay a 
missionary for work among the Nuu-chah-nulth [Nootka] 
and, in 1905, money for Jochelson to visit the Asian 
Eskimo and Aleut in order to follow up "fundamental 
questions" raised by his earlier work. Boas also sought 
an appropriation for research to investigate his theory 
that the Tsimshian were recent arrivals on the coast 
(Boas to Bumpus, 22 December 1902; Boas to Jesup, 
25 November 1905, AMNH, File 293). He was unsuc- 
cessful in securing funds for any of these projects. 
Jochelson, however, independently succeeded in his 
Aleutian ambition, with the [Russian-funded— ed.] 
Riabushinski Expedition to the Aleutians and the 
Kamchatka Peninsula in 1 909-1 1 .'^ 

Long before then, Boas had become disillusioned 
with Jesup and the AMNH. The Jesup Expedition was 
but part of Boas' grandiose ambitions for anthropol- 
ogy in New York, and things in the museum were not 
as they should be. He had problems about his own 
status and salary and about museum assistance, his 
"Vanishing Tribes" of North America was underfunded, 
and his East Asiatic project had failed. The enormous 
effort he had to spend on installation, labeling, and 
cataloging, in addition to his teaching responsibilities 
at Columbia University, meant that he made little 
progress on his own scholarly work. His dissatisfac- 
tion grew as research support stagnated or declined. 
Things were going backward, with less done daily, he 
wrote, yet the material was disappearing "day by day." 
"I have capacity for work, but am dissatisfied at fritter- 
ing away my energies in vain attempts to reach a settled 
policy of work to be pressed. If the Museum cannot 
assist me in these plans, my interest lags." While his 
dissatisfaction included the lack of support and plan- 
ning in the museum, the Jesup Expedition publications 

lay "especially on my heart" (Boas to Jesup, 9 January 
1902, AMNH-DA, Reports File; Boas to Bumpus, 21 
February 1902, AMNH-DA, Bumpus File; F. Boas to S. 
Boas, 28 February 1 902). 

The Jesup Expedition memoirs had been ambitiously 
projected at some 30 contributions in 1 2 volumes. 
Many of those from the American side were prepared 
quickly. An album of photographs, Farrand's paper on 
Salish basketry designs and on the Chilcotin and 
Quinault, Teit's NIaka'pamux ethnology, Smith's work 
on British Columbian archaeology. Boas' facial paint- 
ings and Bella Coola myths, and his and Hunt's first 
KwakiutI [Kwakwaka'wakw] texts were ready by the 
beginning of 1902. Still to come were further reports 
by Smith, Teit's Lillooet and Shuswap [Secwepemc] 
ethnologies and Thompson [NIaka'pamux] texts, sev- 
eral volumes of KwakiutI work, and Swanton's Haida 
ethnology and texts. For the Asian side, Laufer had 
completed his slender volume on Amur decorative art, 
but Jochelson and Bogoras were, after their arrival in 
New York in 1902, only beginning their writing. 

Publication costs had never been included in the 
expedition budget, although Jesup agreed to finance 
the first set of publications, at a cost of $2,000. Boas 
feared that without a special appropriation, the 
museum's limited publication budget, which had to 
cover all competing departmental requests, would 
hopelessly delay the dissemination of his valued re- 
sults. In February 1902 he pleaded with museum di- 
rector Hermon C. Bumpus for extraordinary money. "The 
danger is again imminent that the whole enterprise, 
the appreciation of which has constantly increased as 
its publications progressed, will fall flat." He found it 
unbearable to think that the Jesup Expedition should 
be another example of an enterprise started with great 
vigor but ending in disappointment. He wanted a de- 
cision, once and for all. His estimate of costs was 
$20,000 (Boas to Bumpus, 21 February 1 902, AMNH- 
DA, Bumpus File). Boas got some of what he demanded. 
Jesup agreed to finance the expedition publications 
then in preparation, at an estimated cost of $4,425, 


should museum funds be insufficient. This was a relief, 
but, all in all. Boas wrote in July 1902, it had been a 
bad year: "nothing has worked out— or only a little" 
(Bumpus to Jesup, 19 May 1902;Jesup note, 19 May 
1 902, AMNH, File 293a; F. Boas to S. Boas, 2 July 1 902). 

Worse yet, relations between President Jesup and 
Curator Boas were becoming tense. Jesup now seemed 
disappointed with his expedition, acting as if "nothing 
will come of it." He was reluctant to agree to new 
plans before results were complete, something Boas 
regarded as nonsense. With this went Boas' growing 
view that there was "a minimal understanding for ac- 
tual scientific work ' in Jesup's museum. Then, in early 
1903, the president changed his mind on the Jesup 
Expedition publications: in future they would have to 
be paid for from the museum's general publications 
fund. Boas was devastated. "It was perhaps a harder 
blow than all those that I have received in recent years" 
(F. Boas to S. Boas, 4 September, 5 September 1902; 
Boas to Jesup, 20 Februan/ 1903, AMNH, File 293). 

Boas pleaded with Jesup to reverse a decision that 
would reduce the publication program to a role en- 
tirely out of keeping with the work accomplished. His 
whole scientific reputation, he said, was at stake, and 
"I cannot afford to have an enterprise for which I have 
the responsibility, fail." He had done his part, and now 
he asked Jesup "to see me through, that I may come 
with honor out of the undertaking." Jesup remained 
immovable. Boas had not told him at the beginning 
about the large sums required for publication. The ex- 
pedition was over, and it was for the museum to see 
to publishing the results. He would allow enough money 
in the museum budget to keep the publications in 
progress, but no more. "All is now being done," wrote 
Bumpus to Jesup, "that is imperatively necessary." At 
least, said Boas at year's end, the publications go on 
(Jesup to Boas, 24 February [1903; microfilmed as 
1 900]; Bumpus to Jesup, 28 April 1 903, AMNH; F. Boas 
to S. Boas, 23 December 1903). 

Boas made things somewhat easier by cutting 
costs. He had long thought that the museum was 

paying too much to publish its memoirs. He suggested 
that instead of the museum acting as its own pub- 
lisher, the memoirs go to E. J. Brill in Leiden (Boas to 
Bumpus, 20 February 1 903, AMNH, File 293). Bumpus 
followed up the suggestion, and future volumes were 
published by that house, with C. E. Stechert & Co. act- 
ing as American agents. The contract cut costs sub- 
stantially (Boas to Winser, 28 July 1905, AMNH. File 

Jesup's reluctance to expedite publication stemmed 
in large part from the accumulating costs of his expe- 
dition. One thing after another had contributed to over- 
runs. Boas' initial estimate had projected the expedi- 
tion costs at $5,000 a year over six years, a total of 
$30,000 from Jesup's pocket. In his haste to prepare 
the proposal. Boas had assumed that the museum and 
not the expedition would bear transportation expenses. 
He had also not realized that salaries of museum staff, 
such as himself and Smith, when in the field, would 
have be borne by the expedition's budget and not by 
the museum's. These costs upset budget projections. 
Then the engagement of Bogoras and Jochelson 
brought an embarrassing crisis. Boas had expected to 
employ young men, like Laufer, just out of university. 
The two experienced Russians would do the work 
much better than untried newcomers, but they were 
much more expensive. Jochelson and Bogoras were, 
at ages 45 and 35, mature scientists who deserved 
long-term contracts and salaries commensurate with 
their standing. That meant $1 ,200 a year, compared 
with young Laufer's $500. It was all very embarrassing 
for Boas, but Jesup agreed to proceed with the Rus- 
sians despite the enormous overrun his expedition was 
suddenly facing (see also Vakhtin, this volume). Boas 
now expected that work on the Asian side alone would 
cost $27,667, with the entire expedition running to 
almost $50,000, excluding publication costs (Boas to 
Jesup, 2 November, 1 8 November 1 898, AMNH-DA, 
Jesup Ex. File; Boas to Putnam, 1 December 1 898, 
AMNH-DA, Putnam File). "The whole thing is somewhat 
unpleasant," he confessed, "since it appears as if I made 



a false estimate, though I can show Jesup where and 
how the large expenditure comes." Jesup complained 
in 1900 that he could not keep the business part of 
the expedition in his head: "I only know I am advanc- 
ing a pile of money in this affair & time will prove the 
success of it." By 1901 Jesup's obligations, not includ- 
ing publications to date, were already $53,470. Boas 
was estimating that the cost, including publications, 
was likely to be $75,000; he later raised it to $100,000 
(Boas to Papa [Meier Boas], 31 October 1 898; Jesup to 
Winser, 1 9July 1 900, AMNH-DA, Jesup Ex. File; Winser 
to Jesup, 1 April 1901 , AMNH-DA, Jesup Ex. File; Boas 
to James H. Lamb Co., 9 November 1 900, AMNH-DA, L 
File; Boas 1910b). 

The toll, financial and personal, continued to mount 
as relations turned sour. When Jesup made remarks criti- 
cal of the expedition, Boas was outraged: "Seldom do 
I get excited in conversation," he wrote, "but I became 
quite angry, so much so that it was difficult for me to 
remain within the borders of propriety." In Boas' mind, 
Jesup's intention was to restrict his obligation so that 
he would "not have to put out money for publica- 
tions" (F. Boas to S. Boas, 26 November 1903). 

Printing was not the only continuing cost. Bogoras 
and Jochelson had been contracted to write up their 
results at a monthly salary of $1 50 each. For over a 
year, they worked at the museum. An attempt to get 
them fellowships with the Carnegie Institution failed, 
and both returned to Europe in 1 904, their contracts 
altered to $1 50 per chapter. Jochelson settled in Zurich, 
where his wife was completing her medical training; 
Bogoras went to St. Petersburg. 

Before their return to Europe, Boas had seen them 
frequently, and both spent a good deal of the summer 
of 1 903 with him at his Lake George retreat. Boas re- 
vised his earlier ambiguous opinion of Bogoras, "who 
became very attractive upon longer acquaintance." He 
was a man of fine sensitivity, intelligence, and enthusi- 
asm, Boas wrote, and his whole life and aspiration were 
directed to political ideals, a drive to implement them 
and, if necessary, to sacrifice for them. Jochelson, too. 

became likable on closer acquaintance. He went out 
every day to pick up the newspaper because, as 
Jochelson himself said, "In Russia the unexpected may 
happen at any time and I think that any day a constitu- 
tion could be promulgated" (F. Boas to S. Boas, 26 
October 1 902, 9 October 1 903; F. Boas to S. Boas, 27 
August 1 903). 

Jochelson's writing was slow but regular. Bogoras, 
caught up in revolutionary 1905 St. Petersburg, 
stopped his entirely. For long periods, he ceased even 
to write letters. "I have had nothing from Bogoras for a 
month," Jochelson wrote Boas, and "that concerns us 
very much." Boas finally received a letter from Bogoras 
that excused his neglect. "But you will understand that 
an epoch like this happens only once in many centu- 
ries for every state and nation and we feel ourselves 
torn away with the current even against our will." Boas 
lectured him about priorities: "If events like the present 
happen only once in a century, an investigation by Mr. 
Bogoras of the Chukchee [Chukchi] happens only once 
in eternity, and I think you owe it to science to give us 
the results of your studies." 

April brought another long silence. Boas was again 
concerned, especially because he had read in the pa- 
per that Bogoras had been arrested but then released. 
Boas' worry was not merely for the man's safety. "Dur- 
ing the present excitement in Russia I am sure he will 
not give any time to his scientific situation." Boas would 
have liked to have had him out of Russia so he could 
concentrate on his work. A letter in November from 
Bogoras brought renewed regrets at the lack of progress 
but no change of mind. "Events that are going on in 
Russia request from all citizens their best attention and 
ability." Things were so dreadful, victims so numerous, 
that he felt no right to retreat from the struggle. At 40, 
he had time ahead to finish all yet to be written. He 
would have to be forgiven: "my mind and soul have 
no free place to let in science." On December 4 Boas 
received a cable from Moscow that Bogoras had been 
arrested. He wired St. Petersburg, asking Radloff s as- 
sistance in securing the revolutionary anthropologist's 


release. Slowly the details came out. Bogoras had been 
arrested as a participant in the Peasants' Congress but 
had been released on bail after two weeks. He had 
returned to St. Petersburg and had then gone on to 
Finland, where he gradually returned to his scholar- 
ship. Jochelson, too, was affected by the revolution, 
and, lacking "the necessary calm," his writing slowed. 
Even from afar, Russia's internal turmoil had an upset- 
ting influence. "You know, of course, that next to the 
researcher stands in me a citizen" Oochelson to Boas, 7 
March 1905, AMNH-DA, Jochelson File; Bogoras to 
Boas, 6 April 1905; Boas to Bogoras, 22 April 1905, 
AMNH-DA, Bogoras File; Boas to Jochelson, 28 Sep- 
tember, 13 October 1905; Bogoras to Boas, 23 No- 
vember 1905, AMNH-DA, Bogoras File; Jochelson to 
Boas, 7 March, 1 June, 8 May, 29 August 1 905, AMNH- 
DA,Jochelson File). 

If 1 905 was a memorable year for the Russians, it 
was also for Boas. The previous summer, he had trav- 
eled to Europe, where he had an opportunity to con- 
sult with E. J. Brill about the Jesup publications, to visit 
Stuttgart for the 1 4th Congress of Americanists (1 904), 
and to meet there with Jochelson, Bogoras, and oth- 
ers. The last day of the congress was largely taken up 
with papers on the Jesup Expedition from Boas and 
Jochelson and a complementary one from Leo 
Shternberg. "I presided that day," Boas wrote the 
museum's director, "and feel very well satisfied with 
the reception that the works of the Expedition received." 
On his return to New York, however, he determined 
that he could no longer carry on both his museum and 
university responsibilities. "I simply can no longer fill 
both posts" (Boas to Bumpus, 30 August 1 904, AMNH, 
File 293; F. Boas to S. Boas, 25 October 1904). 

Much as he was attached to the museum projects 
he had initiated, and no matter how integral the mu- 
seum had become to his teaching program, the insti- 
tution had lost its allure. The prospect of meaningful 
activity there was hopeless. He no longer had faith in 
Jesup. The parting was complicated, and in the end 
Boas angrily resigned from the museum in April 1 905, 


but with continuing responsibilities for the Jesup Expe- 
dition publications. Difficulties between Boas and Di- 
rector Bumpus, however, required a more precise de- 
lineation of Boas' role and led to an even greater breach 
in the strained cordiality between Boas and Jesup. 

Boas insisted that payment to him, irrespective of 
the published amount, should never fall below the 
$4,000 he had counted on as his annual museum re- 
muneration. This insistence touched a sensitive Jesup 
nerve. All Boas' previous appeals had been expressed, 
the museum president noted, as concern for the means 
to sustain his scientific work and for funds to support 
his scientific reputation. The tone had altered, and Jesup 
expressed his great disappointment at "the present 
condition of an enterprise that has involved expense 
and anxiety out of all proportion to the representa- 
tions that were originally made." Jesup was confident 
that he had himself always acted with "the utmost 
liberality and fairness" and felt that Boas was not now 
living up to his commitment. He felt sorrow at "the 
many disappointments that have come to me in con- 
nection with this expedition" (Jesup to Osborne, 30 
April 1906, AMNH, File 293b). 

The final agreement contracted Boas to complete 
the expedition series by 1911 for a stipulated pay- 
ment per published signature, the total cost not to 
exceed $25,000 (Agreement of 31 May 1906, signed 
by Boas on 8 June 1 906). Boas, for his part, was scorn- 
ful of the whole business. The contract, he wrote, "is 
like that for building a house; goods to be paid on 
delivery, and the shoddier my work, the better finan- 
cially for me! True Bumpus-Jesup style" (Boas to Putnam, 
23 June 1906, HUA, Putnam Papers, Box 1 4).' ^ The new 
arrangement might have expedited publication— all 
involved were now being paid according to results— 
but it did not. 

Expedition Publications' Later History 

Relations between the AMNH and Boas were chilly, 
even frigid, after 1 906. His difficulties with the mu- 
seum had destroyed his desire to get on with the Jesup 


publications. Two volumes were about to appear, but 
there would follow a long pause, since he had done 
no work for two years. "The fault lies in the obstruc- 
tionism in the museum" (F. Boas to S. Boas, 23 June 
1910). Indeed, "if I could do so in a way consistent 
with my scientific commitments, I would simply dump 
the whole Jesup Expedition and concern myself no fur- 
ther with it" (F. Boas to S. Boas, 1 8 March 1 909). 

But he could not drop it; he had too much invested 
and too many commitments to it. The material from 
the Russian side came in fitfully, and Boas worked on 
it, sometimes just as fitfully. Despite delays, some of 
the Russian material was so extensive that Boas had 
to find outlets beyond the restricted confines of the 
Jesup Expedition Series, under the AMNH Memoirs. 
Bogoras was certainly the most productive. His Chukchi 
ethnology had come out in three installments by 1 909; 
the Chukchi mythology was published in 1910 and 
the Siberian Eskimo [Yup'ik] folktales in 1 91 3. His Koryak 
texts and Chukchi grammar were essentially complete 
by 1914. Jochelson's Koryak ethnology was in print 
by 1 908, but his Aleutian-Kamchatka expedition of 
1 909-1 delayed his work on the Yukagir volume. The 
most remiss was Shternberg, who had been added 
belatedly to write on the Amur River groups he knew 
from exile and expeditionary study. He did send the 
first part of his manuscript to Boas in 1912, but even it 
was never published (see Kan, this volume). 

Then the outbreak of World War I [in 1914] made 
communications between New York and Russia almost 
impossible and severely interrupted mail to and from 
E.J. Brill, the Dutch publisher. The AMNH extended Boas' 
contract to 1916 and then again. The Russian Revolu- 
tion and its aftermath disrupted things even further. 
Boas' contact with his Russian collaborators was rees- 
tablished only in September 1 921 . Boas gathered food 
and clothing in New York for Jochelson, Shternberg, 
and Bogoras, and the latter two were given $300 to- 
ward their work. The following year, the Jochelsons 
came to the United States, where their scholarship was 
supported by the AMNH, the Carnegie Institution, and 

private assistance arranged by Boas, largely through 
financier Felix Warburg. During this time, Jochelson was 
able to publish part of his Aleutian Islands archaeol- 
ogy (Jochelson 1 925), to see his Jesup Expedition Yukagir 
volume through the press (Jochelson 1 926), and to write 
a handbook. Peoples of Asiatic Russia (ioche\son 1 928), 
for the AMNH. Mrs. Jochelson was given money and 
space in the museum to continue her anthropometric 
work, although no publications seem to have resulted. 
[Dina Jochelson-Brodsky's manuscript, "On the Anthro- 
pometry of the Native Peoples of (Northeast) Siberia," 
was prepared for the Jesup Expedition Series as Part 2 
of Volume 1 1 but was never published; see also Krup- 
nik, this volume— ed.] 

The war and postarmistice conditions in Europe 
absorbed a great deal of Boas' attention and robbed 
him of scholarly concentration. Like Bogoras and 
Jochelson, he could not sever himself from political 
concerns, as a patriotic American with strong German 
sympathies and commitments. The Jesup publications 
limped along, hampered by war, revolution, and re- 
construction and squeezed in among Boas' many other 
concerns, none of which included the writing of a con- 
cluding volume. 

When Jesup died in 1908, his widow expressed a 
wish to see the final volume soon, but Boas was unin- 
terested. "I have sworn to myself that I will not write 
the volume until all material is published" (F. Boas to S. 
Boas, 9 July 1909). It is doubtful that by 1909 he was 
any longer committed to writing it. He could maintain 
a workman's duty to scientific responsibilities, but his 
passions were elsewhere. 

Such a project, moreover, ran against Boas' 
temperamental difficulty with the sustained treatment 
of the broad sweep. At least as much of a factor 
was his deep hostility to the AMNH, which endured 
beyond Bumpus' departure and Jesup's death. This 
combination of temperament and hostility was 
enough to prevent the completion of a summary 
volume, but the delayed Siberian results allowed 
Boas to procrastinate. As his other commitments 


multiplied, the nonappearance of a fitting conclusion 
was almost predetermined. 


Assessment of Boas' Jesup North Pacific Expedition is 
difficult. The research was never as complete as Boas 
would have wished, and new problems arose that 
could not be explored. The results were never fully 
published, introducing another complication. Moreover, 
evaluation must tread the fine line between legitimate 
historical perspective and superficial hindsight. 

The Jesup North Pacific Expedition was, in many 
ways, two quite different projects: a North American 
one, and a Siberian one (Krupnik 1 996). On the Ameri- 
can side, the expedition can be viewed as a well-en- 
dowed continuation of Boas' previous research. AMNH 
support and Jesup's money allowed Boas to add ar- 
chaeology to his research tools; otherwise the Ameri- 
can work was an extension of his previous methods 
and strategy. "I am going to continue my previous 
work without practically changing my plans at all," he 
told W. J. McCee in 1897, "but since I have ampler 
funds than heretofore, I shall be able to work to better 
advantage" (1 2 April 1 897, NAA-BAE). 

His old collaborators, Teit and Hunt, went on in 
much the same way as they had before the Jesup Ex- 
pedition and as they would continue to do after its 
close. Research concentrated on Boas' Central Coast 
and southern interior interests, stretching only slightly 
northward to include the Haida and, quite superficially, 
the Chilcotin, Quinault, and Quileute to the south. The 
areas touched on lightly by the expedition— those of 
the Nuu-chah-nulth, Quinault, Quileute, Tsimshian, and 
Southern Athapaskan groups— were those on which 
he had done little or nothing before 1 897. 

But most serious was the neglect of Alaskan groups. 
The Alaska Eskimo and Aleut had earlier been desig- 
nated as part of the expedition, but no research ap- 
propriation was listed beside them (see Fig. 3; Boas to 
Jesup, 2 November 1898, AMNH-DA, Jesup Ex. File). 
The justification for the omission was that accounts of 

other investigations among these groups were acces- 
sible (Boas 1901:357, 1 908:1 298). The reference pre- 
sumably was to Smithsonian work, probably to W. H. 
□all's work on Alaskan groups, especially the Aleut, in 
the 1870s; more certainly to John Murdoch's work in 
the 1 880s on the Point Barrow Eskimo (Murdoch 1 892); 
and, most importantly, to E. W. Nelson's then unpub- 
lished study of the Bering Strait Eskimo (Nelson 1 899). 
Boas did seek some "ancient" Alaskan Eskimo mate- 
rial, especially skulls and bones, from Captain Minor 
Bruce in 1899 and-bought part of his existing collec- 
tion (Boas to Bruce, 1 April 1 899, AMNH-DA, Jesup Ex. 
File; AMNH, Acc. 1899-13). In 1901 Boas expressed 
the hope that it might still be possible for the expedi- 
tion to do a systematic investigation of prehistoric 
sites along the Yukon River and the neighboring 
coastland in order to discern whether a pre-Eskimo 
culture or type existed in the area (Boas 1 901). By then, 
however, the expedition was all but over, and Jesup 
was unwilling to extend its scope. 

Essentially, however, Boas did not consider the Es- 
kimo to be part of the Jesup Expedition problem. The 
Siberian Eskimo [Yupik] were themselves interesting, 
and Boas asked Bogoras to survey them and make 
collections from among them, but only if the opportu- 
nity offered, since they were "not primary objects" of 
the expedition (Boas to Jochelson, 26 March 1900, 
AMNH, Acc. 1 901 -70). In all this, there is a consistent 
lack of interest in the Eskimo. At the AMNH, Boas con- 
tinued his interest in the Eastern Canadian Inuit that 
had been his first love, working with visiting Labrador 
and Greenland Natives and using his old friends George 
Comer and James S. Mutch to gather material, but he 
never seriously considered using the Jesup project to 
study the place of the Eskimo and Aleut in connec- 
tions between Siberia and North America. 

The Indians of southern Alaska had been included 
in the initial plans, with Boas apparently intending to 
do the work there himself (Boas to Jesup, 1 9 January 
1 897; Boas to Putnam, 1 1 February 1 897, HUA, Putnam 
Papers). In 1 898 Fowke was to do archaeological 



excavations in northern British Columbia and southern 
Alaska, but he was dispatched to Siberia instead (Boas 
to Fowke, 7 April, 1 1 April 1 898, AMNH, Acc. 1 900- 
1 7). There were few accounts of the Tlingit except for 
a limited yet very good one by Boas' old Berlin friend 
Aurel Krause (Krause 1 885). The museum did have "a 
mass of manuscript material" on that southeastern 
Alaska group, but it belonged to G. T. Emmons and 
was not accessible even to Boas. Emmons seemed 
"to know a great deal," and his manuscript would ulti- 
mately become the museum's property, but Boas knew, 
or soon came to think, that he could provide informa- 
tion only on "industries and history" and little pertain- 
ing "to their arts or to their inner life," let alone anthro- 
pometrics, linguistics, or even mythology. Yet Boas did 
not "feel like spending money in that country as long 
as this work has been done" (Boas to Swanton, 4 April 
1901, AMNH, Acc. 1901-31; Boas to Bumpus, 1 1 No- 
vember 1 903, AMNH-DA, Bumpus File; Boas to Farrand, 
20 June 1 903, AMNH-DA, Farrand File).'^ A factor in the 
neglect of the Tlingit may simply have been that the 
museum already had rich artifact collections from that 
group. The same was true of the Alaska Eskimo, but 
the main reason for their omission was that Boas thought 
the Eskimo a late arrival in the area and thus irrelevant 
to ancient North Pacific problems. 

The American research itself, then, was very un- 
even. The published results form no coherent corpus. 
Boas' facial painting piece (1 898a) was entirely con- 
cerned with problems of decorative art, something that 
was then a major concern of his. His Bella Coola my- 
thology (1 898b) did attempt to place that anomalous 
Salish-speaking group within its central coastal rela- 
tionships, but it was almost as much a methodologi- 
cal study on acculturation and diffusion, and it led no- 
where near intercontinental relationships. The 
Kwakwaka'wakw texts he published with Hunt were 
enduring salvage contributions to the primary materi- 
als of anthropological interpretation but, again, were 
part of his long-term interest in that group and did 
little to elucidate any broad generic relationships. His 

Kwakwaka'wakw ethnography dealt almost exclu- 
sively with industrial and domestic pursuits and is much 
more a complementary volume to his earlier The So- 
cial Organization and tlie Secret Societies of the 
Kwakiutl Indians (Boas 1 897) than a contribution to 
broader questions. 

Farrand's work was thin and peripheral. His Salish 
basketry design piece was concerned with decora- 
tive art, and his Quinault study (Farrand and Kahnweiler 
1 902) made a minor contribution toward placing that 
small Salish-speaking group in context. His work on 
the Chilcotin (Farrand 1900)— the only Athapaskan 
group at all studied— revealed only a receptivity to 
neighbors' traditions. Boas only later realized that more 
attention needed to be given to the wide-ranging 
Athapaskans, especially those of the far north (Boas 
1 91 Oa, 1 940:336). Smith's Salish archeology was sug- 
gestive, but misinterpreted (see Thom, this volume). 
His cranial finds reinforced Boas' propensity to think 
the Salish a coastal intrusion from the interior, most 
likely a mistaken idea.'' 

In contrast, no burden of history— neither Boas' pre- 
vious interests nor existing museum collections— dis- 
turbed the expedition's objectives on the Asian side. 
There the expedition was much more productive and 
suggestive of relationships. Laufer, Boas' favored 
"younger brother," contributed little except for collec- 
tions. This, too, was in large part Boas' fault. He was so 
eager to keep the young man in New York as part of 
his East Asiatic project that Laufer was, in June 1 901 , 
sidetracked to a quite separate Chinese expedition 
that occupied him foryears. His single substantial Jesup 
Expedition publication. Decorative Art of the Amur 
Tribes, was "disappointingly spare" (Kendall 
1988:1 04). '8 Even his excellent collection, largely 
undescribed by its collector, remains relatively mute. 

Enormously more substantial were the contribu- 
tions of Bogoras and Jochelson. Both Jochelson's Koryak 
(1908) and Bogoras' Chukchee (1904-09) were ex- 
tended ethnographic treatments, and Bogoras went 
on to compilations of Chukchi, Asian Eskimo, and other 


myths and an extended treatment of the Chukchi lan- 
guage in later contributions. The two had also returned 
with huge accumulations of artifacts— collections for 
their groups that remain superior to any others, even 
those in Russia (Fitzhugh and Crowell 1988:15). As 
important, some of the Russians' findings allowed Boas 
to draw far-reaching conclusions on the great prob- 
lem that was the expedition's focus. 

On the American side, only Boas was involved 
enough to take a comprehensive view. The Russian 
collaborators, to whom Boas had introduced Ameri- 
can material, were much more attracted to the funda- 
mental problem of Boas' project. Even if they pursued 
their own research agendas (Krupnik 1 996), their Jesup 
work coincided, over the long term, with Boas'. 

The two Russians were struck at least as much as 
Boas by the closeness of northwestern American to 
northeastern Asiatic folklore. They became certain that 
there had to have been either close contact or a kin- 
dred origin, and probably both in earlier times (Bogoras 
1 902:669; Jochelson 1906:125). Bogoras found ideas 
characteristic of the American Northwest Coast pre- 
vailing far into Siberia, so much so that he wrote, "from 
an ethnographical point of view, the line dividing Asia 
and America lies far southwestward of Bering strait" 
(Bogoras 1902:579). 

Boas reviewed the Siberian evidence, compared it, 
as Bogoras and Jochelson had, with his own collec- 
tions of Northwest myths, and reached the same con- 
clusion. The Koryak, Chukchi, and Itelmen formed one 
race with the Northwest Coast tribes. The unity had 
been much greater in earlier times, but "enough re- 
mains to lead us to think that the tribes of this whole 
area must be considered as a single race, or at least 
that their culture is a single culture, which at one time 
was found in both the northeastern part of the Old 
World and the northwestern part of the New World" 
(Boas 1 903:1 1 5). Traditions showed far-reaching con- 
formity between the two regions and the interrela- 
tionship of motifs was beyond doubt. Boas cited par- 
ticularly the "magic flight" theme and the widespread 


prominence of Raven as ancestor and creator. Nor could 
the languages of the two areas be separated: the speech 
of the Asian groups inclined more toward American 
than toward Central Asian, and if a linguistic division 
were to be made, eastern Siberian languages were 
best grouped with those of America. All evidence from 
physical anthropology tended toward the same con- 
clusion (Boas 1908, 1910b).2° 

Later events had broken the ancient homogeneity. 
Just as Tungus and Sakha [Yakut] people had reduced 
the area once occupied by these related tribes of Si- 
beria, migrations had broken the continuities on the 
American side. The Salish along the Fraser River and 
adjacent coasts were a recent intrusion; so too were 
the Tsimshian, who seemed originally to have been an 
interior people more akin to the Shoshone and 
Kootenay. Both, however, had been assimilated into 
general Northwest Coast culture. The Eskimo, on the 
other hand, were a more obvious intrusion, a sharply 
defined physical type, essentially different from their 
neighbors, who further broke the North Pacific con- 
tinuum. Though Eskimo material culture was very close 
to that of the Chukchi, their language and physical 
type were quite different from those of the Siberians 
and Americans. The Eskimo did have elements of my- 
thology in common with other coastal people, but 
these appeared to be an "essentially recent acquisi- 
tion" (Boas 1908, 1910b). 

Some of these conclusions are plausible so far as 
anthropology and archaeology are able to interpret 
the obscure past. A school of recent scholarship ar- 
gues for a tripartite division of Americans: Northwest 
Coast groups, along with neighboring Athapaskans, 
may be the descendents of a separate migration from 
Asia; other American Indians are seen to be descended 
from a Paleo-lndian group, likely the earliest migrants, 
who formed the initial, widespread, Paleo-lndian Clovis 
population; and the Eskimo and Aleut, descendants of 
Eskaleut ancestors, constitute the third broad group.^' 
This would support the view of the Eskimo as a dis- 
continuity, although the thesis is increasingly contested 


by others using different evidence. The Tsimshian and 
Coast Salish discontinuities are more dubious. 

Within this general schema, however, Boas was led 
to several other conclusions. He was persuaded, ap- 
parently on the basis of Jochelson's and Bogoras' find- 
ings, supported by the research of Leo Shternberg, that 
the commonality of the Northwest Coast and Siberia 
came from a reverse postglacial migration. Boas 
seemed convinced that the Siberian groups were an 
offshoot of American peoples (Boas 1910a, 1912, 
1940:325, 337; Shternberg 1906:138). This idea, the 
"Americanoid" theory, receives no current support." 
Boas was even more certain that the Eskimo were an 
American people, recent invaders from the eastern 
Arctic. They had, he thought, been driven northward 
by the Athapaskan and thus descended to the Arctic 
coast (Boas 1891, 1908:1301). 'The much discussed 
theory of the Asiatic origin of the Eskimo," he wrote in 
1 91 0, "must be entirely abandoned" (Boas 1 91 0a:537). 
However, the dogmatism was usually tempered with 
a wish for archaeological confirmation that an earlier, 
non-Eskimo type had inhabited Alaska (Boas 1902, 
1908, 1910b, 1936). Boas' insistence is curious. He 
recognized the strongly "mongoloid" physical type of 
the Eskimo, their very strong maritime cultural similar- 
ity with the Koryak and Chukchi, and the possible con- 
nection of Yukon pottery with Siberia (Boas 1904, 
1 91 Oa, 1 940:341 ), but he never committed himself to 
any detailed sorting out of the relationships, and his 
insistence on a central Arctic origin for the Eskimo 
goes back to his conclusions of the mid-1 880s (Boas 
1 883:1 1 8, 1 888). The view was endorsed by Bogoras 
and Jochelson, both of whom wrote of the Eskimo as 
a wedge that split the trunk of the common tree 
(Bogoras 1 902:670; Jochelson 1908:359). Eskimo ori- 
gin was, as a later anthropologist noted, Boas' idee 
fixe (Drucker 1 955:60). Boas could be a stubborn, even 
opinionated man: once he grasped a notion, he tended 
not to let it go. 

Part of his difficulty was understandable ignorance. 
The Alaskan Eskimo were imperfectly known. He noted 


the paucity of knowledge of Eskimo mythology west 
of the Mackenzie River that prevented "a clear insight 
into the main characteristics of the folklore of the west- 
ern Eskimo" (Boas 1 902, 1 904, 1 91 Oa:530). Boas prob- 
ably thought the Alaskan Eskimo to be more similar to 
his Central Eskimo than they actually were. The unifor- 
mity of Eskimo culture was "remarkable," and although 
he cited "a certain amount of differentiation" west of 
the Mackenzie River, he attributed it to influence from 
Indian neighbors (Boas 1910a:537). 

Another difficulty was that Boas was working with- 
out adequate archaeology, and, had he pursued ar- 
chaeological research in Alaska and northern Siberia, 
the methods of the time would probably not have 
revealed the necessary data. He was also hampered 
by a too-recent view of ethnic relationships. He tended, 
understandably, to project historical entities back into 
remote prehistory. He continued— despite his concern 
with acculturation and diffusion, despite his attempt 
at historical depth— to lapse into thoughts of migra- 
tions of peoples more or less congruent with historical 
divisions. Although he made salient the idea that tribes 
were not stable units lacking in historical development 
but cultures in constant flux, each influenced by its 
nearer and more distant neighbors in space and in time 
(Boas 1908:1296-7, 1910b:8), he could not totally 
free himself from that fallacy. While northwestern In- 
dian ancestry reaches back to the Old World, recent 
archaeology has shown the great age of culture in the 
region and its continuity from its first discernible 
forms to its appearance at European contact. Current 
thought tends to the view of stability of population in 
the region over a long time, with an emphasis on con- 
tinuity that almost discards migration models (Carlson 
1990:69, 115; Fladmark 1986:5). 

The expedition did establish some of the affinities 
it sought between Paleoasiatic groups in Siberia and 
the Northwest Coast Indians and their interior neigh- 
bors. Similarities of bows, housing, watercraft, harpoons, 
and body armor, for example, could be found on each 
side of the North Pacific. Elements, even structures, of 

4 7 

mythologies were strikingly similar. That much seemed 
true. On the other hand, Boas was blinded by his idea 
of Eskimo origin and remained ignorant of the com- 
plexities of Alaskan relationships. He (and Jochelson) 
willfully dismissed counterevidence of Eskimo partici- 
pation in North Pacific culture." 

The Siberian expeditions led Boas to important in- 
tercontinental hypotheses. They also, in the work of 
Bogoras and the Jochelsons, made permanent contri- 
butions with long-term effects. Events hindered the full 
completion of the Russians' projects. Shternberg's work 
on the Amur tribes never reached publication, nor did 
Bogoras' on the Itelmen. Only a small portion of the 
Siberian anthropometry was published. Yet the corpus 
was significant, probably far more than the Northwest 
American material, and, as important, the Jesup Expe- 
dition spurred Bogoras and Jochelson into continuing 
activity. Moreover, theirs was the only concern with 
intercontinental connections for a generation or more. 

Since no final summary volume appeared, we have 
only sketchy and fragmentary suggestions of Boas' 
conclusions. His comparisons drew on similarities of 
material culture and mythology and on vaguely de- 
scribed physical and linguistic similarities. Even these 
did not entirely support his conclusions: he was forced 
to acknowledge but dismiss the importance of Chukchi 
and Eskimo similarities. The conclusions that he pub- 
lished in conference papers or journal articles after the 
expedition's end ventured only a little beyond the evi- 
dence he had used between 1 895 and 1 897 to urge 
it. The material gathered, important as it was and is, 
probably could not have sustained much more. That, 
as much as any other factor, may have determined the 
nonappearance of the summary volume. 


The Jesup Expedition proved a disappointment for 
Morris K. Jesup and for his museum. Boas, too, was 
disillusioned, much more by the museum and Jesup 
than with the expedition itself. While he remained proud 
of its accomplishments, it had not unfolded in the way 

he foresaw, and its publications went on interminably, 
inconclusively. Worse, he never was able to fill in the 
research gaps. It has taken almost a century for the 
resuscitation and redemption of the Jesup project. 

The Jesup Expedition's limitations are clear. In a per- 
haps ironic way, Boas had foreseen that the slow, 
steady results of his "historical method" would not be 
dazzling. Even measured by its aspirations and pro- 
spectus, however, its success was limited. The answers 
to its research questions never went much beyond 
the postulates that formed the question. On the North- 
west Coast, it was an extension, "by ampler means," 
of his earlier program, one which then continued, in 
Hunt and Teit's ethnological gatherings, in Leo 
Frachtenberg's painstaking linguistic research, and in 
Hermann Haeberlin's precociously brilliant essays on 
art. The Siberian story was somewhat different. There, 
the expedition sustained the work of two, or even 
three, pioneering anthropologists. Jochelson and 
Bogoras, almost alone among Jesup participants (Boas 
himself being the only other), not only practiced their 
"historical method" but extended their imagination to 
embrace the intercontinental context of the project. 
The impact of the Jesup Expedition had its limitations 
within scholarship on the North American area, but the 
consequences for Siberian scholarship have been much 
more significant and enduring. 

Appendix A 

Franz Boas to Morris K. Jesup, 

American Museum of Natural IHistory, 
Jan. 19th, 1897 

Dear Sir, 

One of the most important problems of American an- 
thropology is that of the influence between the cul- 
tures of the Old and of the New World. Investigations 
on this problem have mostly been confined to com- 
parisons between the ancient cultures of Central Amer- 
ica and of South Eastern Asia. The comparative study 
of that region in which contact and transmission of 



5/ Franz Boas, 1858-1942 (AMNH 2A5161) 

1 1/ Waldemar Bogoras, with his native guides on the Kolyma River, Siberia, 1 895 (AMNH 22402) 

5 4 

14/ Dina and Waldemar Jochelson in their field tent in Eastern Siberia. Photo ca. 1 896. 
Note the drying negative plates on a small rack on the table (AMNH 2A1 3549) 

1 5/ Dina Jochelson-Brodsky emerging from native sod-covered hut, summer 1 900 (AlVlNH 337626) 

1 8/ Bogoras and Russian Cossacks on the Anadyr River, summer 1 900 (AlVINH 2654) 

21 / N.C. Buxton in Gizhiga, Siberia, flanked by the local Russian officer and his secretary, spring 1 901 (AMNH 

22/ Harlan I. Smith during his excavations at the Great Fraser Midden, Eburne, British Columbia 
(AMNH 42964) 


Itonn ,- ■ ■ ■ - 

23/ Dina Jochelson-Brodsky and native guides in the Jochelsons' field camp among the Reindeer Koryak, 
1 901 . W. Jochelson, photographer (AMNH 41 48) 


culture has most probably taken place has never been 
taken up in a thorough manner. 

Fragmentary studies of the Ethnology of the tribes 
of the North Pacific Coast reaching on the Asiatic side 
from the Amoor [River] to the Behring Strait and on the 
American side from Columbia River to Behring Strait 
have proved beyond reasonable doubt, that there are 
certain cultural elements in common to all the tribes of 
this region. The bows, the armors, the method of build- 
ing canoes may be given as instances. The mytholo- 
gies of the people of this extensive region show also 
very peculiar points of similarity which suggest an early 
communication. Close analogies between Siberian tales 
and such from British Columbia and particularly tales 
collected among the Ainos of Yezzo [Hokkaido island- 
ed.], the Kamchadeles and the Indians of Vancouver 
Island have been noticed. The whole question, how- 
ever, is by no means definitely settled and cannot be 
solved until all the tribes of this region have been thor- 
oughly investigated. We also know that the physical 
type of the inhabitants of the North Pacific coast of 
America resembles Asiatic types more than any other 
American race. 

Both the Asiatic and the American sides of the North 
Pacific Ocean have one important peculiarity in com- 
mon. They are inhabited by numerous tribes speaking 
a great diversity of languages, only a few of which are 
known. I have indicated on the accompanying 
sketchmap the distribution of tribes and languages. 
Those spoken on the Asiatic side are practically un- 
known, and all of them are disappearing. We do not 
know if any similarity of structure between these lan- 
guages and American languages exists, but we must 
admit the possibility of this being the case. The interior 
of the Asiatic side is inhabited by people speaking 
allied languages. The diversity of language does not 
extend beyond the coast region. The same is the case 
in America. In short, there are so many points of simi- 
larity between the tribes of this whole region that we 
are justified in expecting that here a mutual influence 
between the cultures of the Old and the New World 


has existed. Thus a foundation for the solution of this 
important problem with all its important bearings upon 
the ancient civilisation of America may be laid in this 

A systematic investigation of the whole problem 
will have to include the following points: 

1. An ethnographical study and the making 
of ethnographical collections of the tribes on 
the American side. 

2. An ethnographical study and the making 
of ethnographical collections of the tribes on 
the Asiatic side. 

3. An exploration of the immense shell 
mounds, and of ancient monuments on the 
North Pacific coast of both continents. 

The study of this subject on the Asiatic side re- 
quires a thorough knowledge of Chinese and Mongol 
ethnology and languages. That in the region of Behring 
Strait a thorough knowledge of American ethnology 
and of the Eskimo language. Farther south work is 
particularly needed in southern Alaska and in the States 
of Oregon and Washington. 

So far as collecting is concerned, this region is one 
of the few, where a vast amount of material may still 
be gathered at comparatively slight expense. This is 
true particularly in the region of Behring Strait, among 
the Chukchee, the Koryak, and more than anywhere 
else on the Amoor River. But in all these regions the 
culture of the people is disappearing rapidly and the 
whole work is becoming more difficult from year to 

I have made an approximate estimate of the ex- 
pense of exploration in this region and judge that at 
an expenditure for field work of $5000 a year for six 
years the whole region may be covered with fair thor- 
oughness. [HUA, Putnam Papers, Box 16]. 

Appendix B 

Franz Boas to Frederic W. Putnam, 
February 1 1, 1897 

This letter would have to be about 1 pages long, if I 
wanted to say all I have to say; but I want to be brief 
and leave all details until your next visit here. 

6 5 

Mr. Jesup called me down to his office the day 
before yesterday and told me that he could not give 
me any money for this year's trip to the North Pacific 
Coast, except that he would give me 2 months leave 
of absence— and that very reluctantly only and place 
at my disposal $250.00 with which to make collec- 
tions for the Museum and that he would get me free 
transportation. I have to give up one month's salary. 

Furthermore he told me that he wished to take up 
the general plan of exploration on the North Pacific 
Coast and instructed me to consult with you and to 
propose a detailed scheme of work for the carrying 
out of the plan. He also asked me, if anything could be 
done this year and I requested that I might do some 
things, but that it would be best probably to begin 
systematic work in Siberia not until next spring. 

Now there are two matters for which I must work. 
The first and less important (although very important 
for me) is, that I stay away longer and utilize my time, 
because it would be absurd to go to B.C. for 2 months. 
I wish to make a plan which I can present to Mr. Jesup 
putting the matter in such a way that I keep the work 
for the B.A.A.S. [the North-Western Tribes Committee 
of the British Association for the Advancement of Sci- 
ence] entirely distinct of all the rest and then put in a 
couple of months or at least six weeks on work for the 
proposed Jesup Expedition, which will be a great thing, 
if it is to embrace the whole work of ethnological ex- 
ploration of the North Pacific Ocean. Mr. Jesup looks at 
this proposed expedition in the light that it will be the 
greatest thing ever undertaken by any Museum either 
here or abroad and that it will give the Institution an 
unequalled standing in scientific circles. I will not make 
any proposition in this letter but must talk the matter 
over with you in detail when you come here. My gen- 
eral idea is to present the matter in such a way that I 
commence the work on this side this summer, that at 
the end of each year enough material should be accu- 
mulated to allow us to make a report of the collection 
which will be a material addition to our knowledge 
and thus to keep the interest in the subject. 


The second point is the making of a detailed plan 
of work. In order to do this intelligently I must go to 
Washington to get certain information which I want to 
present to you when you come here. But first of all we 
must find the men to do the work when the matter 
comes to the point. My idea is almost as follows: Judg- 
ing from what you said you might include Mr. Dixon to 
prepare specially for ethnographic work among the 
Chukchee, Eskimo and Yukageer.'^'' Would he be ready 
to take the field for a whole year beginning next spring? 
(a year from May). Then we must engage a student of 
Mongol languages who must be imported in order to 
do the work on the Amoor; and at present I am the 
best man for southern Alaska & B.C. and farther south. 
Our prime endeavor now must be to impress Mr. Jesup 
with the necessity of having trained specialists do the 
work, and not give it to adventurers or people with 
superficial knowledge. I have written a bunch of let- 
ters to American Orientalists asking, if there is any good 
young man who has devoted himself to the study of 
Mongol Ethnology. And I have written abroad for this 
purpose. You are aware that I have a certain young 
man in mind who I think will be first class, but I shall 
wait until I obtain full information." These are the two 
fundamental points I wished to write about. 

Mr. Jesup instructed me to ask your consent to 
my proposed trip. I hope you will not object to my 
going away for 2 months and I trust you will show 
Mr Jesup that it is desirable for me to stay away for 
four months. . . .[HUA, Putnam Papers, Box 8]. 


1 . All subsequent correspondence that is 
uncited as to repository is from the Boas Papers, 
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. Marie 
Boas (Boas' wife) and Sophie Boas (his mother) are 
abbreviated as M. Boas and S. Boas, respectively. 

2. But compare Boas' own statement: "I in- 
terested Jesup only through Villard" (F. Boas to S. 
Boas, 27 November 1900). In discussing several 
issues throughout the paper, I am indebted to 
previously published work on the Jesup Expedi- 
tion: Jonaitis (1 988); Freed et al. (1 988a, 1 988b). 


3. See also Boas to parents, 1 9 January 1 897. 

4. The letter is reproduced in Appendix B. 

5. The English version, translated by Dietrich 
Bertz from German for the British Columbia Indian 
Language Project, remains unpublished, although 
typescript copies are available in a few reposito- 
ries. Boas' conclusions were summarized and elabo- 
rated in the Journal of American Folk-Lore (Boas 
1896a) and reprinted in Boas 1940:425-36. 

6. Crube's article is cited in Boas 1 897:663n. 
The Steller description is also in the conclusion of 
Indianische Sagen (Boas 1 895a). 

7. See his more forceful conclusion and insis- 
tence on research in "contiguous areas" in Boas 

8. Both Boas' paper in the Folk-Lore Journal 
(1896a) and his AAAS paper (1896b) were in- 
tended in part as a refutation of Daniel Brinton's 
ultraorthodox view of independent invention and 
cultural evolution (see Ousley 2000). Mixed in, 
however, are a number of other themes, such as 
concerns about the psychological process of ac- 
culturation of cultural elements, the complexity 
of origins, and the need for strict induction. 

9. The BAAS contributed 480 Canadian dol- 
lars (G. M. Dawson to Boas, 14 May 1897, Na- 
tional Archives of Canada, Geological Survey of 
Canada, 63.94). 

1 0. 1 am indebted to David J. Meltzer of South- 
ern Methodist University, who brought Fowke's 
letter to the attention of Stanley Freed, and to 
Freed, who kindly passed it on to me. 

11. Born in Vienna in 1872, von Zach later 
served with the Austrian consular service in East 
Asia and then in the Dutch government in Indone- 
sia. He published a number of Chinese linguistic 
studies and translations of Chinese literature be- 
fore his death in 1 942. 

1 2. The Jochelsons' work on the Yukagir was 
not originally to be part of the expedition, but 
Boas later accepted the addition of this group to 
the program (see Vakhtin, this volume). 

1 3. Boas initially was ambivalent about this 
latest trip of Jochelson's. He welcomed the long- 
sought research, but it delayed Jochelson's 
completion of his Jesup writing. 

14. Costs were reduced to $2 per page, be- 
low even Boas' estimate. The first part of Bogoras' 
Chukchee, which came out in 1904, was the first 

volume published by E.J. Brill. 

1 5. Boas seems himself have recommended 
the piecework idea in order to avoid conflicts with 
Bumpus. See memo by Boas, 25-27 April 1906, 
although this is contradicted in Boas to Osborne, 
28 April 1906. 

1 6. See also Boas 1 901 :357 and Boas 1 903: 
77, where Boas writes that, because of Nelson 
and Emmons, the principal work of the expedi- 
tion had to be done in British Columbia and Wash- 
ington State. Swanton did do four months of work 
in 1904 in southeastern Alaska, but that was un- 
der Bureau of American Ethnology sponsorship. 
He published a long account for the bureau's 26th 
report on Tlingit society, beliefs, and linguistic re- 
lationships in 1908 and a collection of Tlingit 
myths and texts the following year. The Emmons 
material was published only in 1 991 , after almost 
heroic editorial work by Frederica de Laguna (in- 
cidentally, a Boas student). 

17. Subsequent studies suggest that the 
Coast Salish arise from a very ancient technology, 
the Pebble Tool tradition, that inhabited the 
coastal region for 9 or 10 millennia (Robinson 

18. Laufer did publish some short contribu- 
tions, including "Petroglyphs on the Amoor" (Laufer 
1899) and "Preliminary Notes on Explorations 
among the Amoor Tribes" (Laufer 1 900). 

19. This was based largely on Jochelson's 
comparative analysis in The Koryak (1908:354- 
82), the purport of which had been published ear- 
lier in Jochelson 1 906. 

20. These somewhat repetitive reports are 
perhaps the best summary of Boas' conclusions 
in the years following the expedition. 

21 . This remains a difficult and controversial 
area in which new evidence undermines old mod- 
els while increasing the complexity of the prob- 
lems. Nevertheless, much of Boas' general con- 
clusion remains plausible. 

22. The term "Americanoid" was used in this 
connection by at least 1904. Stephen Ousley 
[Ousley 2000—ed.] has pointed to its earlier, but 
disparaging, use by Daniel Brinton. 

23. Jochelson, for example, did not include 
Nelson's Alaska Eskimo myths in his evalua- 
tion because "a large part of the episodes of the 
latter cannot be considered as genuine Eskimo 


elements" and would only "have caused confu- 
sion." Yet the Eskimo influence on Koryak culture- 
myths, religious rites, and material culture- 
pointed to a direct intercourse between Koryak 
and Eskimo at some period. When, and under what 
circumstances could only remain an open ques- 
tion CJochelson 1908:359). See Chowning 1962. 

24. Roland Dixon was a Harvard student. He 
made a brief trip to the West Coast for the Jesup 
Expedition but never went to Siberia. His disser- 
tation on the Maidu was supervised by Boas. He 
received his Ph.D. degree in 1900, after which he 
began a long career at Harvard. 

25. Obviously, Boas refers here to Berthold 
Laufer, with whom he maintained an extensive 


Entries marked by an asterisk were added by the editor. 
Beattie, Owen B. 

1 985 A Note on Early Cranial Studies from the Gulf of 
Georgia Region: Long-Heads, Broad-Heads, and the 
Myth of Migration. BC Studies 66 (summer):28-36. 

Berman, Judith 

1 991 The Seals' Sleeping Cave: The Interpretation of 
Boas' Kwak'wala Texts. Ph.D. diss.. University of Penn- 
sylvania, Department of Anthropology, Philadelphia. 

Boas, Franz 

1 883 Uber die ehemalige Verbreitung der Eskimos in 
arktisch-amerikanischen Archipel. Zeitschrift der 
Cesellschaft fur die Erdkunde zu Berlin 1 8(2): 1 1 8- 

1888 The Eskimo. Transactions of the Royal Society 

of Canada for 1887, 5. Pp. 25-39. 
1 891 Dissemination of Tales among the Natives of 

North America. Journal of American Folk-Lore 4:1 3- 

20. Reprinted in Boas 1 940. 
1 895a Indianische Sagen von der Nord-Pacifi- 

schen KUste Amerikas. Sonder-Abdruck aus den 

Verhandlungen der Berliner Cesellschaft fiir 

Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte, 1891 

bis 1895. Berlin: A. Asher&Co. Reprint: Bonn: Holos 

Verlag, 1992. 
1895b Zur Ethnologie von British-Columbien. In 

Verhandlungen der Cesellschaft fur die Erdkunde zu 

Berlin 22 (4 May). 
1896a The Growth of Indian Mythologies: A Study 

Based upon the Growth of the Mythologies of the 

North Pacific Coast. Journal of American Folk-Lore 

9:1-11. Reprinted in Boas 1940. 
1 896b The Limitations of the Comparative Method of 

Anthropology. Science, n.s. 4:901-8. Reprinted in 

Boas 1940. 

1 897 The Social Organization and the Secret Societies 
of the KwakiutI Indians: Based on Personal Observa- 
tions and on Notes Made by Mr. George Hunt. Re- 
port of the U.S. National Museum for 1895. Pp. 31 1- 
738. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. 

1 898a Facial Paintings of the Indians of Northern Brit- 
ish Columbia. The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 
1 , pt. 1 , pp. 1 3-24. Memoirs of the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History, 2. New York.. 

1 898b The Mythology of the Bella Coola Indians. The 
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 2, pp. 25- 
1 27. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural 
History, 2. New York. 

1 901 Die Jesup Nordpazifische Expedition. In Verhand- 
lungen der Cesellschaft fijr die Erdkunde zu Berlin 
28. Pp. 356-9. 

1902 Some Problems in North American Archaeol- 
ogy. American Journal of Archaeology, Second Se- 
ries, 6:1-6. Reprinted in Boas 1 940. 

1 903 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. American 
Museum Journal 3(5): 73-1 1 9. 

1 904 The Folk-Lore of the\rr\o. Journal of American 
Folk Lore 1 7(64): 1 -1 3. Reprinted in Boas 1 940. 

1 908 Die Nordpazifische Jesup-Expedition. Interna- 
tionale Monatschrift fur Wissenschaft, Kunst und 
Technik 2(41): 1291 -306. 

1 91 Oa Ethnological Problems in Caudiddi. Journal of the 
Royal Anthropological Institute ofCreat Britain and 
Ireland 40:S29-39. Reprinted in Boas 1940. 

1910b Die Resultate der Jesup-Expedition. In Inter- 
nationaler Amerikanisten-Kongress, 16. Tagung, Wien 
1908. Erster Hdlfte. Pp. 3-1 8. Vienna and Leipzig: A. 
Hartleben's Verlag. 

1912 History of the American Race. Annals of The 
New York Academy of Sciences 21:1 77-83. Re- 
printed in Boas 1 940. 

1 936 History and Science in Anthropology: A Reply. 
American Anthropologist 38(1 ):1 37-41 . Reprinted 
in Boas 1 940. 

1940 Race, Language and Culture. New York: 
Macmillan. Reprint: Free Press, 1966. 

Bogoras, Waldemar 

1 902 The Folklore of Northeastern Asia, as Compared 
with That of Northwestern America. American An- 
thropologist 4(4): 5 77-683. 

1 904-09 The Chukchee. The Jesup North Pacific Expe- 
dition, vol. 7, pts. 1-3. Memoirs of the American 
Museumof Natural History, 1 1 . Leiden: E.J. Brill; New 
York: G. E. Stechert. 

Cannizzo, Jeanne 

1 983 George Hunt and the Invention of KwakiutI Cul- 
ture. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropol- 
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Carlson, Roy L. 

1990 Cultural Antecedents (pp. 60-9); History of 


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Carneiro, Robert L. 

1973 Classic Evolution. In Main Currents in Cultural 
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122. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 

Chowning, Ann 

1962 Raven Myths in Northwestern North America 
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Cole, Douglas 

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Cole, Douglas, and Ira Chaikin 
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Drucker, Philip 

1955 Sources of Northwest Coast Culture. In New 
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Farrand, Livingston 

1900 Traditions of the Chilcotin Indians. The Jesup 
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Farrand, Livingston, and W. S. Kahnweiler 
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1986 British Columbia Prehistory. Ottawa: National 

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1925 Archeological Investigations in the Aleutian Is- 
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1928 Peoples of Asiatic Russia. New York: American 

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1 988 From the Land of the Totem Poles. The North- 
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Kendall, Laurel 

1988 Young Laufer on the Amur. In Crossroads of 
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1 899 Petroglyphs on the Amoor. American Anthro- 
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1900 Preliminary Notes on Explorations among the 
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spective: E. B. Tylor and the Making of Primitive Cul- 
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Murdoch, John 

1 892 Ethnological Results of the Point Barrow Expedi- 
tion. 9th Annual Report of the Bureau of American 
Ethnology for the Years 1887-1888. Washington DC: 
Government Printing Office. 

Nelson, Edward W. 

1 899 The Eskimo about Bering Strait. Annual Report 
of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1 896-1 897), 
18, pt. /.Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. 

Ohio Archeological and Historical Society 

1929 Gerard Fowke. Ohio Archeological and Histori- 
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can History, B 758 (Glen Rock, NJ: Microfilming Corp. 
of America, 1979). Microfiche. 

Putnam, Frederic W. 

1 902 Synopsis of Peabody and American Museum of 
Natural History Anthropology Departments. In Inter- 
national Congress of Americanists, 1 3th Session, Held 
in New York in 1902. P. xliii. Easton, PA: Eschenbach. 

Robinson, Ellen W. 

1 976 Harlan I. Smith, Boas, and the Salish: Unweaving 
Archeological Hypotheses. Northwest Anthropologi- 
cal Research Notes 1 0(2): 1 85-96. 

Rohner, Ronald P., ed. 

1 969 The Ethnography of Franz Boas: Letters and 
Diaries of Franz Boas Written on the Northwest Coast 
from 1886 to 1931. Chicago: University of Chicago 

Shternberg, Leo 

1906 Bemerkungen uber Beziehungen zwischen der 
Morphologie der giljakischen und amerikanischen 
Sprachen. In Internationaler Amerikanisten-Kongress, 
14. Tagung, Stuttgart 1904. Erste Halfte. Pp. 137- 
40. Berlin: W. Kohlhammer. 

Smith, Harlan Ingersoll 

1 907 Archaeology of the Gulf of Georgia and Puget 
Sound. The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 2, pt. 
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Teit, James A. 

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["ranz j^oas and tKe ^Kaping of the Jesup 
Expedition Siberian j^esearch, 1 55^^-1 ^OO 


To ensure the productivity of their research, I am con- 
vinced that American scholars who nowadays ven- 
ture on research projects in Siberia must study the his- 
tory of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition QNPE), 1 897- 
1902, as a prerequisite. Likewise, Russian academics 
considering participation in joint projects supported 
by American grants should familiarize themselves with 
the historical background of the JNPE. All— especially 
those of us participating in the Jesup 2 project (see 
Fitzhugh and Krupnik 1 994)— are well advised to study 
the achievements, challenges, mistakes, and limitations 
of their predecessors as they arranged international 
cooperation 100 years ago. The astonishing similarity 
between political, social, and scholarly paradigms then 
and now makes this task not only necessary but also 
emotionally powerful. 

Although this alone would justify interest in the 
history of the JNPE, there is another reason for such 
interest. Extensive American literature on the subject 
focuses, quite understandably, on the "American" side 
of the JNPE— on its influence in shaping American an- 
thropology and on its American participants. The ex- 
pedition, however, had two sides, and its "Russian" 
side is of no less importance to the development of 
Russian anthropology. 

It is a fact that the JNPE played an important role in 
shaping Russian scholarship, especially the develop- 
ment of Russian (and, later, Soviet) research in social 
anthropology, ethnography, and linguistics of the 
Siberian Native peoples. A miraculous interplay of 
favorable circumstances— for the development of 

anthropology— led to the emergence of a "school" that 
proved to be extremely productive and fruitful. To 
some extent, to study the roots of Russian northern 
research after 1 897 is to study the history of the JNPE. 
In an excellent review paper by Freed et al. (1 988), the 
description of preparations for the Jesup Expedition 
and the obstacles it had to overcome takes about 
two pages. Of these, the authors have given the Sibe- 
rian side two lines: "In Siberia, the principal problems 
were politics, climate, terrain, logistics, miserable living 
conditions, and the enormous distances . . ." (Freed et 
al. 1 988:9). Was there, then, anything that was not— is 
not— a problem in Siberia? 

This paper tries to fill in at least the broadest "Rus- 
sian gaps" in the early history of the JNPE, largely on the 
basis of archival resources in the United States and 
Russia. More specifically, I relied on vast collections of 
correspondence between the members and organiz- 
ers of the expedition and the dozens of other people 
who were in one way or another involved in this monu- 
mental enterprise.' 

Developing The Project, 1895-1897 

There is a well-known, though certainly somewhat un- 
fortunate, tradition of naming buildings, halls, universi- 
ties, book series, and projects not after those who 
built, wrote, or invented them but after those who 
provided the funding. This is understandable: good 
architects, writers, and scholars will, with some luck, 
be remembered, but for the rich, this may be their only 

The role of Morris K. Jesup in establishing the Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is, of course, 
fundamental. Similarly, without his support the North 
Pacific Expedition would hardly have been possible. 
Nevertheless, the Boas North Pacific Expedition might 
be a better name: the amount of time, talent, and en- 
ergy that Boas invested in this project was incredible. 

Franz Boas' Employment at the AMNH 
Franz Boas was born in 1 858 in Minden, Westphalia. 
He chose a university career in natural sciences and 
mathematics, and from 1877 to 1881 he studied in 
Heidelberg, Bonn, and Kiel. After a year of military ser- 
vice. Boas spent some time in Berlin studying the "re- 
action of the human mind to [the] natural environment." 
In the summer of 1 883 he went to Baffin Island and 
spent more than a year with the Inuit. After several 
more years in Berlin at the Ethnographic Museum (Mu- 
seum fur Volkerkunde) and more fieldwork (on the West 
Coast of North America, in 1 887), he moved to the 
United States and took a position at Clark University. 
After resigning from Clark in 1 892, Boas spent the next 
two years in Chicago, first as chief assistant to Frederic 
W. Putnam, a leading anthropologist at Harvard whom 
Boas helped to organize anthropological exhibits at 
the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, and later 
as curator of anthropology at the Field Museum. Boas' 
resignation from the Field Museum in 1894 was fol- 
lowed by a year of unemployment (Stocking 1 973). 

Putnam, who was hired as part-time curator, De- 
partment of Anthropology at the AMNH in New York, 
began working on a plan to invite Boas to the depart- 
ment. As early as December 1 894, he wrote to Jesup: 

Complying with your request that I put in 
writing the substance of our conversation of 
yesterday ... I respectfully make the follow- 
ing suggestions: First,— that I be authorized 
to propose to Dr. Franz Boas that he shall so 
arrange his plans as to be able to accept a 
position in the department as early as 
possible next Fall. . ." [Putnam to Jesup, 
December 8, 1894, AMNH-DA]. 

Putnam used every meeting with Jesup to persuade 

him that they needed Boas in New York. This persis- 
tence eventually bore fruit. In March 1 894, AMNH Sec- 
retary John H. Winser had informed Boas that there 
was no position for a curator of anthropology at the 
museum (Winser to Boas, 3 March 1 894, AMNH-DA). 
Five months later, however, the likelihood of a posi- 
tion already appeared to have increased. Putnam en- 
couraged Boas, writing that he hoped that the cloudy 
period of Boas' life was over and there was sunny 
weather ahead (Putnam to Boas, 3 August 1 894, APS- 
NYPL; see also Dexter 1 976). 

During this time, Boas was not simply waiting pas- 
sively for other people to decide his destiny. In May 
1 895 he wrote to the U.S. National Museum in Wash- 
ington [later renamed the Smithsonian Institution's 
National Museum of Natural History, NMNH— ed], of- 
fering to enlarge, describe, and sort out its American 
Indian collections in order "to make a systematic ex- 
hibit covering the whole North Pacific coast" (Boas to 
NMNH, 27 May 1 895, APS-NYPL). In this letter, the con- 
cept of the North Pacific Coast included only the four 
American Indian groups from the Yakutat [Northern 
Tlingit] to the Salish. 

During the summer of 1895 Boas was in Europe 
(Germany, England, and France). While there, he received 
an offer from J. W. Powell for a permanent position in 
Washington with the Bureau of American Ethnology 
(BAE). Simultaneously, he received a letter from Putnam: 

I wrote to President Low [of Columbia 
University] about getting you for Columbia 
College, after a consultation with Mr. Jesup. 
Mr. Jesup thought if we could manage to 
keep you in New York through the winter 
somehow or other, that next year would 
open better for us in many ways, and 
between Columbia College and the Museum 
we could be pretty sure of giving you a 
satisfactory position. (Putnam to Boas, 19 
June 1895, APS-NYPL) 

Putnam asked Boas to postpone the decision 
until things clarified in New York. With Boas, Farrand, 
and Ripley, the AMNH would have had an "unbeat- 
able anthropological team" (Freed et al. 1988:9). 
They could establish there, Putnam wrote, "a great 


anthropological institution," whereas in Washington, he 
argued. Boas would not be so free in his actions. 

Thus, by the summer of 1 895 Boas had two offers, 
one from the AMNH and one from the BAE. He was 
uncertain which to choose. The position at the AMNH 
looked more attractive, but the one with the BAE was 
more secure and could be taken right away. 

The North Pacific Expedition Idea Emerges 
Before 1 895, Boas never discussed field research in 
Asia or in Siberia in his letters. He wrote several letters 
describing his plans for future work in British Columbia 
and along the Northwest Coast (e.g., letter to G. M. 
Dawson, 1 5 May 1 894, APS-NYPL), but he never spoke 
about expanding beyond the Bering Strait, nor is any 
mention of Siberia to be found in his early correspon- 
dence with Putnam or Jesup. 

It was probably during his trip to Europe in the 
summer of 1 895 that the idea of the North Pacific Ex- 
pedition—a comparative study of the American and 
Siberian Native people— struck Boas' mind. This idea 
went beyond anything Boas had envisioned before. 
Whether he was inspired by something he had read or 
heard in Europe or by the forced idleness of the seven- 
day transatlantic trip back to New York, Boas obvi- 
ously landed on American soil with an idea that was 
to become the nucleus of the North Pacific Expedition. 

Boas had acquired unique experience on the North- 
west Coast, particularly in British Columbia, and he was 
well equipped to address the problem of contacts 
between the Old and the New Worlds. 

The types of man which we find on the North 
Pacific coast of America, while distinctly 
American, shows a great affinity to North 
Asiatic forms; and the question arises, 
whether this affinity is due to mixture, to 
migration, or to gradual differentiation. (Boas 

This was put into an even broader and more challeng- 
ing context: 

We have come to understand that before we 
can build up the theory of the growth of all 
human culture, we must know the growth of 


cultures that we find here and there among 
the most primitive tribes of the Arctic, of the 
deserts of Australia, and of the impenetrable 
forests of South America; and the progress of 
the civilization of antiquity and of our own 
times. We must, so far as we can, reconstruct 
the actual history of mankind, before we can 
hope to discover the laws underlying that 
theory. (Boas 1898b:2) 

Soon after coming to New York (or perhaps while 
still in Europe), Boas must have written to Leonhard 
Stejneger, an old friend in Washington who had visited 
the Russian Far East, to ask for advice. In November 
1895, Stejneger answered; another letter from him 
followed in December. Inviting Boas to visit Washing- 
ton, Stejneger wrote: 

We can then better talk of the various things 
you write about. As a matter of fact, without 
knowing how it is proposed to travel "in the 
Amur region and further North" [evidently a 
quotation from Boas' letter], I can have no 
idea as to costs ... my experience has been 
in such a different quarter of that part of the 
world that they would be of but little use. I 
have today written, however, to a friend in 
San Francisco . . . who could provide neces- 
sary information. (Stejneger to Boas, 26 
November 1895, APS-NYPL) 

A month later, Stejneger described the means of 
transportation from Vladivostok to Petropavlovsk and 
to small towns such as Cizhiga, Okhotsk, and Tigil along 
the Sea of Okhotsk. This information was obviously 
based on the letter from the "friend in San Francisco" 
he had mentioned earlier (Stejneger to Boas, 21 De- 
cember 1 895, APS-NYPL). 

In the meantime. Boas accepted the AMNH posi- 
tion, on January 3, 1 896. Along with his everyday ac- 
tivities at the museum, he began to dig trenches around 
Jesup. Since Putnam, as head of the Department of 
Anthropology, was his superior, there was no way for 
Boas to leave him out of the project. In fact, it is un- 
likely that he had such intentions; Putnam was a friend, 
and the two thought largely along the same lines, 
whether the museum structure or anthropological field- 
work was at issue. Putnam had demonstrated this 
clearly in his memorandum to Jesup (see Annual 

7 3 

Report on the Department of Anthropology for 1894; 
Putnam to Jesup, 1 1 August 1 894, AMNH-DA). 

I believe that the original idea for the North Pacific 
expedition was developed by Boas and later promoted 
by Putnam. The two, however, worked closely together. 
Putnam was the boss, and Boas naturally did not have 
a chance of persuading Jesup to pay for the expedi- 
tion without Putnam's support, authority, and name. 
Although an original letter addressed to Jesup describ- 
ing the plan of the North Pacific Expedition was not 
discovered by myself nor other researchers (Brown 
1910; Dexter 1976; Freed et al. 1988:9; Hinsley and 
Holm 1 976; Kennedy 1 969), there are some indica- 
tions that such a crucial letter was written.^ For ex- 
ample, Putnam wrote to Augustus Lowell: 

. . . you have probably noticed in a newspa- 
per . . . some account of the Expedition to 
the North Pacific which is to be carried on 
under my direction for the American Museum 
of Natural History in New York. Mr. Jesup, 
who is the President of Board of Trustees of 
that Museum, will personally pay all the ex- 
penses of the expedition. Dr. Franz Boas . . . 
will take charge of a party to make explora- 
tions on Vancouver Island this summer. ... In 
order that you may understand the scope of 
the above-mentioned expedition ... I 
enclose a copy of my letter to Mr. Jesup on 
this subject. (Putnam to Lowell, 20 March 
1897, APS-NYPL) [See also Appendix A to 
Cole, this volume— ed.]. 

Note the phrases "under my direction," "my letter", 
they clearly indicate that the letter was signed (or per- 
haps cosigned) by Putnam. In any case, the fact that 
the North Pacific Expedition was organized and fi- 
nanced "at the suggestion of Boas and F. Ward Putnam" 
(Rohner 1969:199) can be regarded as proved. 

One can get a clear idea of the contents of this 
letter from another letter written by Boas to Jesup in 
November 1898 in which he tries to "restate the ob- 
jects of the expedition, the original plans, and the 
changes that seem desirable at the present time." Boas 
formulates the two goals of the expedition as follows: 

1 . Is there a racial affinity between the 
Asiatic race and the American race, which 


will compel us to assume a common origin 
of both? 2. Can we prove by archaeological 
and ethnological investigation the existence 
of historical contact between the tribes of 
the two continents? (Boas to Jesup, 2 No- 
vember 1898, AMNH-DA) 

He then explains at length the information that led him 
to expect a positive answer to these two questions. 

The Expedition Takes Shape 
For several months, the idea was discussed in many 
meetings. Jesup soon became an ardent supporter of 
the proposal and tried to raise money for it. When it 
seemed that nobody was willing to sponsor the project, 
Jesup made a bold decision to cover the expenses out 
of his private funds. John Winser wrote to Putnam in 
February 1897: 

Mr. Jesup has about concluded to take up 
the cost of the Bering Sea explorations. He . . 
. would like you to have the matter in mind 
and be prepared to give your views on his 
return. Entering into this work is however 
entirely dependent upon the discovery of the 
right man for the work . . . (Winser to Putnam, 
12 February 1897, AMNH-L) 

In March 1897, the first public announcement of 
the expedition appeared in the form of an anonymous 
article in Science (Proposed Explorations ... 1 897:455- 
7) [presumably written by Boas]. It was followed by 
numerous articles in the New York Times and other 
national and local papers. The papers flashed tempt- 
ing headings: 

Round the World for Science. Morris K. Jesup 
to Send an Expedition for the Museum of 
Natural History to Search America First. 
Anthropologists Will Gather Evidence as to 
First Men on This Continent, Will Cross to 
Asia Then . . . 

When the expedition was announced, dozens (per- 
haps hundreds) of letters poured into the AMNH. All 
kinds of people begged to be allowed to take part- 
young and old, adventurers and doctors, journalists 
and students, and even a shorthand expert. (The last- 
named offered, rather boldly, to write 1 50-200 


syllables per minute in any language, including those 
not previously known to exist.) Most of the letters, 
which typically began, "it has always been my dream," 
were written in 1 897; all or most were answered nega- 
tively: "At present we have completed the research 
parties; your letter will be filed for the future". A letter 
from a W. F. Brock is worth quoting as an example; 

For several years I have devoted all of the 
time that I could spare from my profession in 
gathering together Indian history and leg- 
ends. ... As a newspaper correspondent, I 
have traveled over ALL of Oregon, Washing- 
ton and Idaho. I have visited many parts of 
Montana, British Columbia, Alberta and 
Assinaboia. ... I was with the Piute Indians of 
Nevada for four months. ... I lived among 
the Yakimans. ... I converse freely in the 
Chinook Jargon. ... I can handle a train of 
packed horses and manage canoe with a 
skill which has been acquired by a life 
residence in a new country. ... I should like 
to work under you or in one of your divi- 
sions, in any capacity in which I can be the 
most useful. (Brock to Jesup, n.d. 1 897, 

In a letter to Jesup complaining, hypocritically, that 
he was besieged by reporters eager to learn details 
about the expedition, Putnam indicated that, on the 
whole, "[i]t again shows the great interest which the 
people take in everything anthropological and espe- 
cially in all research relating to the ethnology of America" 
(Putnam to Jesup, 16 March 1897, AMNH-DA). 

Now that the expedition had the necessary fund- 
ing and wide publicity. Boas realized, as Winser had 
put it, that beginning the JNPE project in earnest was 
"entirely dependent upon the discovery of the right 
man for the work." Boas began to look for the man. 

Looking for the Man: Von Zach and Baily 
Through his German and American contacts. Boas soon 
came across two names. The first person was a V. 
Baily, recommended by Stejneger. Very little is known 
about him except that he "has had the intention for 
some time to go to Eastern Siberia collecting" (Stejneger 
to Boas, 27 April 1 897, APS-NYPL). 

The otherwas a young German scientist from Leiden, 
Edwin von Zach, who was recommended by Professor 
Gustav Schlegel. Boas' letter to von Zach in April 1 897 
is probably the earliest source available from which 
one can judge how Boas had envisioned the proposed 
expedition before it actually began: 

From what Dr. Schlegel writes me, I suppose 
that you will be well prepared to undertake 
linguistic and anthropological work, both of 
which will be of great importance for the 
undertaking; but ... it is also necessary to 
pay particular attention to the collection of 
ethnological and anthropological material. I 
desire to have particularly good collection of 
crania, when such can be obtained, and of all 
the objects used in the daily life and religious 
life of the people. Besides these, I lay particu- 
lar stress upon the collection of good 
linguistic data, of collection of myths and 
other traditions in the original language, of 
songs, etc., and furthermore I want extensive 
service of measurements of the people; that 
is to say, I want to cover the whole field of 
ethnological, anthropological, and linguistic 
research as fully as possible. . . . You will 
understand that this letter is not a definite 
and final proposition on my part, but this 
letter is written in order to inform you of our 
proposed work. (Boas to von Zach, April 
1897, AMNH-DA) 

Von Zach's answer was prompt and enthusiastic: 

I am much obliged to you for your flattering 
proposition . . ., and I am perfectly satisfied 
with the conditions. . . . Although I am not a 
man of means, a scientific investigation of 
this kind is not a question of making money; 
but I am doubtful if I am able to adequately 
carry out the proposed work. I have studied 
medicine and the Chinese language and 
literature, but I have not paid much attention 
to the isolated languages of eastern Siberia. . 
. . All I can claim, therefore, as special 
acquirements, is a general knowledge of the 
subject and a deep interest in every thing 
pertaining to the same. If you should finally 
decide to engage me, I should propose to 
discontinue my special work on Chinese 
language and literature, in order to prepare, 
so far as feasible, for the proposed expedi- 
tion. I should study in detail the linguistic and 
ethnographical literature of Siberia, and visit 
the collections at Berlin, London, and St. 
Petersburg. I should also take up with greater 
vigor my practical studies of the English and 
Russian languages. Finally I beg to ask you 


to inform me if the worl< that I would be 
expected to do is confined to the Kot7ak 
and Youkageer, or if you intend to take up 
other tribes of eastern Siberia as well, (von 
Zach to Boas, 24 April 1897, AMNH-DA) 

Boas was obviously impressed by the young man's 
response. On May 7, 1 897, he wrote to both Gustav 
Schlegel and Morris Jesup stating that the recommended 
candidate was "excellent." "I do not believe from what 
I hear," he added, "that we can find a better man than 
him for the work north of the Okhotsk Sea, and I would 
suggest that he be engaged for doing this work" 

By mid-May, the proposed expedition began to 
take shape, as Boas wrote to Jesup: 

It will be possible to send two parties to 
Asia next spring. One of these would go to 
Arctic Siberia . . . the other party would go 
to the Amoor River. It would be best for 
both parties to stay away for a whole year. I 
have engaged Prof. Von Zach to go to Arctic 
Siberia, and another gentleman [Boas is 
probably referring here to Laufer— N.V.] who 
seems to be very well prepared for the work 
has been recommended to me. (Boas to 
Jesup, 16 May 1897, APS-NYPL) 

On May 1 9, 1 897, shortly before leaving on the 
field trip to Victoria, British Columbia, Boas sent an of- 
ficial letter to von Zach and offered him a position on 
the expedition team, with the task of studying the 
Chukchi, the Koryak, and the Yukagir tribes of Siberia. 
For this, he suggested a salary of $500 per year, with 
all expenses in the field to be covered by the AMNH 
(Boas to von Zach, 19 May 1897, AMNH-DA). 

At the same time, steps were taken to secure the 
cooperation of the Russian government. On March 1 5, 
Morris Jesup signed a formal letter to Russia's Envoy 
Extraordinary to the United States, E. Kotzebue. In de- 
scribing briefly the aim of the expedition, he expressed 
hope that "the Imperial Russian Government will give 
us authority to carry on explorations in its territory" 
Oesup to Kotzebue, 1 5 March 1 897, AMNH-DA). 

Relations with Russian government authorities de- 
veloped slowly but steadily. On September 1 9, Dr. E. 
O. Hovey, a geologist employed by the AMNH who 

had taken part in the International Geological Con- 
gress in St. Petersburg, submitted to Jesup a report on 
his consultations with Russian officials (conducted at 
Jesup's request) about the possibility of sending an 
expedition to Siberia. The Russian government, regard- 
ing the whole proposition quite favorably, requested 
a list of the people who were to take part in the expe- 
dition, with their titles and positions, "without which 
nothing could be done." No foreign expedition would 
be allowed to enter Siberia unless its personnel was 
known and approved in advance. Dr. Hovey also talked 
to General Dubrovin, of the Imperial Russian Academy 
of Sciences (RAS), and he met with Dr. Amstant, the 
assistant to the permanent secretary of the RAS, Pro- 
fessor Vasily V. Radloff. (Radloff himself was away on 
vacation.) In addition, Hovey called on Grand Duke 
Constantine, president of the RAS, leaving with his sec- 
retary a letter explaining the plan for the Siberian expe- 
dition. His conclusion was "that the Russians are or will 
be thoroughly interested in the investigations in north- 
eastern Siberia and that the government will authorize 
and assist the expedition" (Hovey to Jesup, 19 Sep- 
tember 1897, AMNH-DA). 

Change of Plans: Jochelson Appears 
Everything seemed in order, but later that year some- 
thing must have happened with von Zach. There are 
no more letters to or from him in Boas' correspon- 
dence collection, and the leadership of the JNPE field- 
work in northeastern Siberia was again uncertain. The 
sequence of the Siberian work suddenly changed; the 
Amur River area would now first be investigated by 
Berthold Laufer (on Laufer, see Kendall 1 988). On Janu- 
ary 4, 1 898, Boas wrote to Radloff: 

For the Spring of this year we have planned 
an expedition to the Lower Amoor [Amur] 
River. We have requested and have been 
granted authority from the Imperial Russian 
Government to conduct our investigations in 
that region, and I have selected Dr. Berthold 
Laufer of Cologne, who has studied Asiatic 
languages in Berlin and Leipzig, to study the 
language of the Gilyak; he will be accompanied 



by Mr. Gerard Fowke. ... I hope to extend 
our work in 1 899 towards the more northern 
regions, but I have not yet found a man well 
fitted for this work. ... I am desirous of 
finding a young man who will spend a year 
or two in Northeastern Siberia, with a view 
to studying the customs, manners, languages 
and physical characteristics of that district. 
Could you recommend to me a young man 
fitted to undertake this work? (Boas to 
Radloff, 4 January 1898, AMNH-DA) 

Radloff promptly responded on February 23, 1898:^ 

I have found a gentleman willing to take part 
in your expedition, a Mr. Jochelson, who has 
just returned from an expedition to the 
Yukagirs, and among whom he has lived for 
two and a half years. ... He consents to take 
part in the expedition for one year only, and 
only to the Yukagirs. For the expedition to 
the Chukchee he recommends a friend of his, 
a Mr. Bogoraz, who has lived two years 
among them and knows their language. ... It 
is my opinion that you would do well to 
secure the services of these two gentlemen, 
since they are both well acquainted with the 
countries to which they will have to go, and 
have already made special studies of the 
languages as well as the habits and customs 
of the peoples. . . . Unfortunately I have not 
yet been able to receive the consent of the 
latter gentleman, since he is living in Eastern 
Siberia, but I have written to him and hope 
to have his answer in about two months. 
(Radloff to Boas, 23 February 1898, AMNH-DA) 

Radloff also rendered to Boas the conditions upon 
which Jochelson consented to undertake the work. All 
travel expenses should be paid, as well as a sufficient 
salary starting on the date Jochelson left St. Petersburg 
and continuing until he had fully prepared his field 
materials for publication. Jochelson was willing to give 
Boas full benefit of all the materials he had already 
gathered, as well as those yet to be collected, but he 
reserved the right to publish in Russian as much of 
these findings as he wished. 

This is the first time the names of Waldemar 
(Vladimir) Jochelson and Waldemar (Vladimir, also called 
Nathan) Bogoras (or Bogoraz) appear in the correspon- 
dence." A question that is often asked— why Radloff 
did not mention the third potential participant, Leo 
Shternberg— has, in my opinion, an obvious answer. 

The original letter from Boas indicated that he already 
had a person for the study of the Cilyak [Nivkh] people 
in the Amur River area. Boas was asking for help in 
identifying one man to do research in northeastern Si- 
beria for two years. Radloff instead suggested two 
men, each for one year. For Shternberg, there Just was 
no vacancy at the time (see also Kan, this volume). 

Radloff also wrote tojesup informing him that "the 
Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg has consented 
to assist in every possible way the scientific expedi- 
tion." In addition, he requested official information: the 
names of all persons who were to take part in the 
expedition, when they expected to arrive in Siberia 
and the duration of their stay, and what parts of Sibe- 
ria they intended to visit. This information, he explained, 
was necessary for a letter of recommendation to the 
governor-general of Eastern Siberia, so that each mem- 
ber of the expedition could be supplied with an open 
letter from the minister of the interior to all the admin- 
istrative powers of that part of the empire (Radloff to 
Jesup, 23 February 1898, AMNH-DA). 

However, the matter of acquiring permission from 
the Russian government did not proceed smoothly. 
On April 4, the U.S. Embassy in St. Petersburg informed 
Jesup that Laufer would not be able to get a Russian 
visa to conduct fieldwork in Siberia. The visa was re- 
fused by none other than Minister of the Interior Ivan 
Coremykin, who was perfectly familiar with the whole 
project and was much interested in the matter. 
Coremykin's position was that this would be against 
Russian law: Laufer, as a German Jew, was prohibited 
from entering Siberia [according to the Russian anti- 
Jewish regulations— ed.] (U.S. Embassy tojesup, 4 April 
1898, AMNH-DA)."- 

Boas wrote to a contact in Germany, a Mr. 
Grundwedel, to discuss the possibility of influencing 
the Russian government. The answer was pessimistic: 

. . . the Russian government seeks totally to 
thwart all scientific investigations by non- 
Russian scholars on Russian territory. ... I see 
no other way but that the expedition make 
itself directly available to the Russian Academy. 



Of course the Imperial Russian Academy 
would have first rights to both the collec- 
tions as well as any literary output. For 
science it would be all the same, of course, 
but not for you. (Grundwedel to Boas, 2 May 
1898, AMNH-DA) 

The matter was settled only after Radioff addressed 
Grand Duke Constantine, titular president of the RAS, 
who appealed to no less than his nephew. Tsar 
Nicholas II. 

By June 1 898, everything was more or less ready. 
In July 1 898 Berthold Laufer and Gerard Fowke began 
their work among the Nivkh [Gilyak] and Ulch [Tungus] 
people of the Amur River region, as well as among the 
Ainu of Sakhalin Island. They remained in the field until 
March 1899 (Freed et al. 1988:13-14; Kendall 1988; 
Segel n.d.). By that time, the other half of the Siberian 
JNPE expedition had also been arranged. 

The JNPE Siberian Team: Two Populist 

It is now time to explain who those two "Russian 
gentlemen," Vladimir Jochelson and Vladimir Bogoras, 
were. To use Radioff s wording, they "had Just returned 
from an expedition" to Eastern Siberia and were rec- 
ommended by the RAS to Boas on the strength of 
their two-year experience of fieldwork in the area, their 
good command of Native languages, and their deep 
knowledge of the "habits and customs of the people." 
In fact, the two people in question were dissidents. 

Vladimir Jochelson was born in 1 855 and had joined 
the revolutionary movement, the People's Freedom 
party, at a rather young age.^ Between 1 875 and 1 881 , 
he was an underground party activist. In 1 881 he emi- 
grated to Switzerland, where he worked at the party 
printing house and studied social sciences and eco- 
nomics at the University of Bern. In 1 885 he returned 
to Russia and was immediately arrested and impris- 
oned. He spent 1885-87 in solitary confinement, and 
in 1 887 he was exiled to Eastern Siberia for 10 years 
of ssylka (political exile). ^ While in Siberia, he became 
interested in the Yukagir, a small Native nation living in 

the area of his exile. He later took part in the Sibiryakov 
Expedition (1 894-98) organized by the Russian Geo- 
graphical Society [and sponsored by Russian gold-min- 
ing tycoon Alexandr Sibiryakov ed.]. Jochelson re- 
turned to European Russia in 1 898 and immediately 
went to Switzerland, where he enrolled at the univer- 
sity in order to finish his education (RAS-J). 

Vladimir Bogoras was born in 1865 in the small 
town of Ovruch in Volyn Province, western Ukraine. In 
1 880, at the age of 1 5, he entered St. Petersburg Uni- 
versity. He took courses in mathematics but later 
switched to law. Like Jochelson, Bogoras was a mem- 
ber of the People's Freedom party. In 1 882 he was 
exiled to his hometown and then, in 1 883, arrested. 
After serving a short term in prison, he again became 
very active in party affairs. In December 1 886 he was 
arrested for the second time, sent to prison for three 
years, and afterward exiled for 1 years to the Kolyma 
Region of eastern Siberia, where he lived from 1 890 
until 1 898. Around 1 894, he too became a member 
of the Sibiryakov Expedition and worked on the eth- 
nography of the Chukchi. He returned to St. Petersburg 
in 1 899 and was employed as a fellow of the Museum 
of Ethnography (Al'kor 1935:5-7; Krader 1 968:1 1 6). 

A third person, Leo (Lev) Shternberg, became con- 
nected with Boas and the JNPE project several years 
later. Since his name will be mentioned many times 
below, and since Shternberg's earlier years were so 
strikingly similar to those of Bogoras and Jochelson, it 
is appropriate to say a few words about him here. (A 
more detailed account is found in Kan, this volume.) 

Born in 1 861 in Zhitomir, Ukraine, Shternberg stud- 
ied at St. Petersburg University in 1 881 , enrolling in the 
Department of Natural Sciences. He soon joined the 
Central Student Circle, the main branch of the People's 
Freedom party among the students. There, he met 
Bogoras for the first time. After being involved in large 
student demonstrations and clashes with the police, 
Shternberg was exiled from St. Petersburg in 1 882 and 
became a law student at Novorossiysk University in 
Odessa. He studied and continued his "revolutionary 



activities" in Odessa for four years until his arrest in 
1 886, when he was in the middle of his graduation 
exams. After being imprisoned for three years, in 1889 
he was exiled for 10 years to Sakhalin Island. He be- 
came interested in the language and culture of the 
Cilyak [Nivkh] people and published his first paper on 
the Cilyak in 1 893. In 1 899 he returned to St. Peters- 
burg (Bogoras helped him get permission to live in the 
capital) and in 1901 became an ethnographer at the 
Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, rising to 
the level of senior ethnographer several years later (Kan 
1978; Ol'denburg and Samoilovich 1930:7-8). 

Jochelson, Bogoras, and Shternberg: Early 

Anthropological Interests 

During their years in Siberia, these three members of 
the People's Freedom party wrote to each other as 
frequently as they were permitted, exchanging what- 
ever news they had, words of support for each other, 
opinions on the books they had read, and the books 
themselves. The letters are full of complaints about 
the unbearable conditions of life and the idleness and 
boredom. This is especially true for Bogoras who, be- 
ing the youngest and the most energetic of the three, 
obviously suffered most from living "on the sidewalk 
of the road of life," as he put it, and watching life go 
past. This excerpt of a letter from Bogoras in Sredne- 
Kolymsk to Shternberg in Sakhalin captures his mood: 

Your warm-cold and wet-dry island is still 
part of the globe, and lives and moves 
together with it, if not forward, then at least 
backwards. Kolymsk is a different planet, 
even less connected with Earth than the 
Moon, completely alien to Earth, a block of 
ice cast out into space and suspended there 
above the emptiness, where every accidental 
spark of life freezes down and suffocates. 
(20 June 1 894, RAS-B). 

The reasons why the three exiles become inter- 
ested in the ethnography of the Siberian Native peoples 
are rather complicated. To some extent, it was a con- 
tinuation of their interest in "the people"— a central 

concept in the People's Freedom party ideology. An- 
other reason was the immense demand for educated 
people in those remote areas. The services of Jochelson, 
Shternberg, and Bogoras were soon engaged by the 
local administration and by the Sibiryakov Expedition 
for the purposes of conducting censuses, recording 
statistics, and describing the life of the people. Of 
course, they were political exiles and could not be 
trusted, but they were also educated people former 
university students— and thus could be useful. To some 
extent, the idleness and boredom of their everyday 
lives impelled them to find something to do in order to 
"preserve their sanity and will to live," as Kan (1 978: 1 1 ) 
put it. Ten years, after all, is a long time. 

Initially, they might not have taken their ethno- 
graphic pursuits seriously. For example, Bogoras, after 
two paragraphs of the usual complaints about his 
boredom and idleness, rage at being cut off from life, 
and irritation, wrote in a letter to Shternberg: 

I am now flirting with ethnography. I traveled 
through the area, lived for seven months with 
the Chukchi, goddamn them, rode on 
reindeer back, went downstream on rafts- 
well, this is hardly interesting to anyone but 
an ethnographer. (Bogoras to Shternberg, 4 
November 1895, RAS-B) 

Shternberg himself, after several months of isolated 
life at a distant military post (he had to share a hut 
with his guards), established friendly relations with resi- 
dents of a neighboring Cilyak [Nivkh] settlement. Go- 
ing there almost every day, he began to learn their 
language and to document their customs. 

Thus it happened that almost simultaneously 
Oochelson in 1898, Bogoras and Shternberg in 1899), 
three men experienced in studying Siberian ethnology 
and languages and willing to publish the materials they 
had collected arrived in St. Petersburg. Of course, in 
many ways they were quite naive about how science 
was done. In 1 899, for example, Shternberg, still in 
Sakhalin, wrote to Bogoras, who was already in St. 
Petersburg, asking him to find "an international Cilyak 
alphabet" and "a reader in comparative philology." 


Bogoras wrote back quickly, "There is no such thing as 
a Cilyak alphabet. What you have to do is copy a 
couple of Cilyak texts and send them to the Academy 
with detailed grammatical commentaries" (Bogoras to 
Shternberg, 22 February 1 899, RAS). Shternberg mailed 
his manuscript on the Cilyak language to Bogoras, who 
persuaded K. Zaieman, a well-known linguist working 
with the academy, to publish it (see Kan, this volume). 

Obviously, Bogoras, Jochelson, and Shternberg were 
using their ethnographic and linguistic materials and 
the unique knowledge they had acquired in Siberia as 
a means of recapturing their standing in life. In 1 899 
Bogoras wrote to Shternberg that he had visited 
Radloff, who promised to support Shternberg's inten- 
tion to come to St. Petersburg to work on his collec- 
tions, which would be donated to the Museum of 
Anthropology and Ethnography (MAE). Bogoras advised 
Shternberg to write to Radloff immediately that he, 
Shternberg, had a certain collection from a certain land 
and was willing to present it to the museum but needed 
time to organize it. That would require his presence in 
St. Petersburg. "Advertise yourself with reserve but in- 
tensively," Bogoras wrote, not without a hint of irony 
(Bogoras to Shternberg, n.d. 1 899, RAS). 

They seem rather surprised themselves at how their 
lives were turning out. Before their exile to Siberia, they 
never dreamed of becoming ethnographers. Political 
activism, journalism— these were the stuff of real life. 
Bogoras somewhat sarcastically joked, "Ah, this is 
what the Acheans went to conquer Troy for! So that 
they could afterwards take apart Chukchee, Yukaghir, 
Cilyak and other texts. Mais tu I'a voulu, George 
DflAic//>7.'" (Bogoras to Shternberg, n.d. 1 899, RAS). But 
another obvious undertone of Bogoras' letters of the 
period was sheer pride. He was proud of himself and 
his comrades because they had managed not to per- 
ish, physically and mentally, during those 1 extremely 
harsh years in Siberia. Instead, they had found some- 
thing there that helped them reestablish their social 
standing. These former convicts and exiles had col- 
lected copious data previously unknown to scholars, 


and they were publishing their works in the prestigious 
proceedings of the RAS and the Imperial Ceographical 
Society. The RAS had no one but the two (or even 
three) of them to recommend to Boas as experienced 
ethnographers with considerable knowledge of Sibe- 
ria. "By God, attaboys, those old Siberian Jews!" (Bogoras 
to Shternberg, 1 9 August 1 899, RAS). 

Boas Employs Jochelson 
In the fall of 1 898, Boas went to Berlin, where, for the 
first time, he had an opportunity to meet Radloff in 
person and to make the acquaintance of Jochelson, 
who was still in Switzerland working on his doctoral 
examinations (Boas to Jesup, 4 October 1 898, AMNH- 
L). After meeting Boas and securing his own position, 
Jochelson began to promote Bogoras persistently, re- 
minding Boas about him in almost every letter. For 
instance, he wrote: 

I just received word from Yakutsk, from Mr. 
Bogoraz, that he agrees to study the Chukchi 
for the Museum and travel to the Bering 
peninsula for that purpose. He is satisfied 
with the conditions I had stated. Mr. Bogoraz 
should have arrived in Irkutsk by now, and in 
November we hope to meet in Russia . . . 
(Jochelson to Boas, 23 September 1898, 


I beg to repeat that he is by far the best man 
for the investigation of the Chukchi and the 
other tribes of the Bering peninsula. ... Mr. 
Bogoraz speaks Chukchi fluently. He is well 
prepared to conduct ethnological work, and 
he is willing to start at once, if so required. 
(Jochelson to Boas, 3 November 1898, 

On October 28, 1 898, Boas mailed to Jochelson a 
letter containing the terms of the latter's employment 
for the expedition: the AMNH offered to employ 
Jochelson for a period of three and a half years at a 
salary of $ 1 00 a month, with an additional $4,000 set 
aside for field expenses. Jochelson had to come to 
New York on or around February 1 , 1 899, in order to 
receive special instructions in regard to his fieldwork. 
He was required to then proceed to the north coast of 


the Sea of Okhotsk in spring 1 899. He was to devote 
his time from summer 1 899 until late winter 1 900 to 
the study of the local Koryak people and then pay a 
visit to the eastern groups of the Yukagir. The scope of 
his work was defined as follows: 

You would have to make collections of 
specimens illustrating the customs and the 
physical characteristics of the people. These 
collections should include ethnographical 
specimens of all kinds, skeletons and skulls, 
so far as these can be obtained, photo- 
graphs, and casts in plaster-of-Paris. Your 
studies would be devoted primarily to the 
ethnology of the people, including a thor- 
ough study of language and mythology and 
anthropometric measures. After you have 
completed your studies, you will return to 
New York. Your return will be expected 
approximately in the beginning of 1 901 . The 
following year and a half you would engage 
to work up in the American Museum of 
Natural History the scientific results of your 
field work. The scientific results, as well as 
collections made during the journey, would 
become the exclusive property of the 
American Museum of Natural History. No 
results could be published except according 
to directions given by authority of the 
Museum. (Boas to Jochelson, 28 October 
1898, AMNH-DA) 

In addition, the AMNH would furnish photographic 
equipment and supplies for the journey and pay for 
transportation to and from Vladivostok via New York. 

Jochelson replied from Bern that he could accept 
the conditions if the AMNH were ready to consider 
what he called "changes and clarifications in detail."** 
These included an increase of his monthly salary to 
$1 50 for the 18 months in New York in 1901-02; pro- 
vision of additional resources for shipping the collec- 
tions from the town of Gizhiga on the Sea of Okhotsk 
to New York; payment of $ 1 00 extra for acquisition of 
ethnographic literature on Siberia; insurance to be paid 
by the museum; and some other financial conditions. 
But far more important were Jochelson's "clarifications" 
regarding his future rights as a collector and author: 

I don't want to process the results of the 
anthropological research (measurements, 
masks, etc.) myself, but prefer to leave it to the 

Museum to give to an anthropologist to do. . 
. . I would like to evaluate the Koryak 
ethnographic, ethnologic and linguistic 
material myself. The finished work which will 
belong to the Museum will be published 
under my name. The Yukagir material is mine, 
I collected it during three years of field work. 
... I can give the old Yukagir information to 
the Museum on the condition that I can also 
give the combined old and new material at 
the same time to the Russian Geographical 
Society, in Russian (both publications must 
naturally appear under my name). (Jochelson 
to Boas, 10 November 1898, AMNH-DA) 

He also discussed minor details of purchasing supplies 
and shipping equipment to Vladivostok (the RAS 
agreed to pay for the latter) and indicated that it would 
be better for him to postpone the expedition for two 
years and complete his doctorate. He was, however, 
ready to abandon that and leave for St. Petersburg in 
early December of 1 898 if Boas insisted. Boas replied 
on December 5, 1898. He accepted some of 
Jochelson's "clarifications" while declining others. 

You must consider it as the primary object of 
your journey (1) to study and to collect 
among the Koryak, and (2) to make ethno- 
logical collections among the Yukagheer. 
Everything else is secondary. ... On the 
whole, your proposed modifications of my 
propositions seem to imply a fear that this 
Museum might interfere with your rights as 
an author and investigator. There is no 
inclination on our part to do so. On the 
contrary, we hope that the expedition, when 
carried out, will materially contribute to your 
reputation, and assist you in obtaining a 
satisfactory station in life. (Boas to Jochelson, 
5 December 1898, AMNH-DA) 

By this time, Jochelson's and Bogoras' participa- 
tion in the Jesup North Pacific Expedition had already 
been decided by Boas. But he still had to persuade 
Jesup that this choice was the best one, even though 
employing two men was more expensive than one. 
As Boas wrote to Jesup, "These two men acquired 
such familiarity with work in that region, that it ap- 
peared unwise to employ any one else to do work 
there" (2 November 1 898, AMNH-DA). This new deci- 
sion, however, implied certain complications: 


For the immediate purpose of the Jesup 
Expedition, it would have been sufficient to 
collect a certain amount of information on 
the tribes of the Sea of Okhotsk and of the 
west coast of Bering Strait, without going 
into certain details. Mr. Jochelson, however, is 
not willing to take up work in eastern Siberia 
unless he can exhaust the field, besides, he 
asks to be employed for a considerable 
length of time, and his salary represents a 
very considerable sum of money. The same 
would be true of Mr. Bogoraz, although to a 
less extent. Thus we are placed in the 
following position: we might adhere to our 
old plan to send a young man to the region 
referred to, and try to obtain what we want. 
If we do so, the work will be done less 
thoroughly, and not so well as it would be 
done by Messrs. Jochelson and Bogoraz. 
Besides, since these two men exist, and as 
their work is appreciated by European 
scientists, there is no doubt that efforts will 
be made to give them an opportunity to 
carry out the proposed work. ... If, therefore, 
we should not employ them, but send an- 
other man, we should be exposed to danger 
of doing imperfect work, which in the course 
of a few years might be superseded by the 
much better work. ... A difficult choice is, 
therefore, presented to us, in that we need 
information from the region in question, and 
that we cannot wisely employ any one but 
the two Russian gentlemen. (Boas to Jesup, 2 
November 1898, AMNH-DA) 

It is difficult to say whether this letter was just 
political or if, in fact. Boas was really impressed by the 
extensive knowledge Jochelson had of the area and 
the Natives. In any case, he allowed Jochelson to influ- 
ence the original plan of the expedition by expanding 
its area to encompass the Yukagir and "exhaust the 
field." A semiofficial letter was written on December 6, 
1 898, proposing that Bogoras survey the Chukchi be- 
ginning in 1900 for 12 to 15 months, on conditions 
similar to those offered to Jochelson. 

A month later. Boas received a letter from Jochelson 
in Paris. Jochelson accepted all the proposed condi- 
tions and agreed to leave Switzerland in September 
1 899 to start preparations for his departure. He once 
again reminded Boas of Bogoras: "It should be advis- 
able that my departure and Mr. Bogoraz' should take 
place at the same time" (Jochelson to Boas, 4 January 
1 899, AMNH-DA). 

In January 1 899 Bogoras returned to St. Petersburg 
and began working at the Museum of Anthropology 
and Ethnography under the direction of Radloff. In the 
first week of March, Boas received a letter from Bogoras 
in which he accepted all the conditions. "I am happy," 
Radloff wrote to Boas, "that my mediation had such 
positive results and you can now go ahead with the 
arrangements for the expedition in Asia" (Radloff to 
Boas, 27 February 1899, AMNH-DA). 

Siberian Expedition Preparations, 1899-1900 

For several of the months that followed, the corre- 
spondence between Boas and his Russian partners 
focused mainly on purchasing supplies and equipment 
for the expedition. Both parties tried to do this as inex- 
pensively as possible; they wrote numerous letters and 
made dozens of inquiries about the prices of flour, 
canned milk, barter items, and gifts for local people. 
The whole plan was beginning to take tangible shape, 
although the organizers had to overcome all sorts of 
problems, some of them rather peculiar. For example, 
the U.S. Customs had no classification entries for "eth- 
nographic objects"; if they were "Specimens of Natu- 
ral History," no tax was due, but customs officials were 
not sure. An officer cited a letter by the auditor for the 
Treasury Department and then presented his own in- 

The articles are classified as specimens of 
Natural History, free, under Paragraph 666 
New Tariff. This classification however would 
appear to be erroneous. In the opinion of this 
office, the term "Specimens of Natural 
History" applies only to natural objects, and 
does not apply to any artificial product or 
manufacture. ... As to the "Anthropological 
Specimens" it is impossible to tell from the 
description whether they were natural or 
artificial. ... I think the Auditor right in his 
claim that the plaster casts and the Indian 
ladder are not specimens of Natural History . 
. . [and are to] be classified under Paragraph 
702 N. T. . . . because, in my judgment, 
Ethnology is a science, viz.; the science 
which treats of the division of mankind into 
races, their origin, distribution and relations, 
and the peculiarities which distinguish them. 



If they are to be classified under paragrapli 
702, tlien a bond is required. (Official to 
Winser, 10 November 1897, AMNH-DA) 

At the turn of the century, even customs officers were 
discussing the definition of ethnology. But, along with 
answering letters from the U.S. Customs, Franz Boas 
had much more serious decisions to make. 

Where to Go and What to Study 
In the shaping of the content and route of the Siberian 
portion of the Jesup Expedition, the very different back- 
grounds, training, and experience of Boas and his two 
Russian partners had unforeseen consequences. In so- 
cial science research, it is almost impossible to investi- 
gate one's ideas in a purely technical manner or even 
to collect data according to a rigid, standardized ques- 
tionnaire. The interference of the researcher's personal- 
ity—the "observer's paradox"— sometimes is so strong 
that two people who study the same phenomenon 
might get very different results. What Boas expected 
the Russians to do was to become his eyes, ears, and 
arms. They had to go to specific areas, make anthro- 
pometric measurements, record folklore texts, collect 
objects, and return to Boas in New York. He wanted to 
train them specially for the job. He wrote to Radloff: 

My intention is to have both Mr. Jochelson 
and Mr. Bogoras here for a few months, in 
order to make sure that the work on physical 
anthropology will be done according to the 
same methods, so that our results may be 
comparable. (18 April 1899, AMNH-DA) 

Boas aspired, within the limited funds he had, to 
carry out the maximum research to both satisfy his 
scholarly interests and give Jesup and the AMNH as 
much prestige and publicity as possible. But it became 
clear from the start that the Russians had their own 
ideas as to where and how to do research in Siberia. 

jochelson was the first to resist Boas' plan. In a 
letter quoted above, Radloff informed Boas that 
jochelson consented to go "only to the Yukagirs" 
(Radloff to Boas, 23 February 1898, AMNH-DA), al- 
though Boas needed information on the peoples of 


the North Pacific coast— the Koryak, Chukchi, and Nivkh. 
The Yukagir were located too far in the interior to be of 
special interest, according to Boas' vision of the expe- 
dition, jochelson eventually yielded and agreed to go 
first to study the Koryak. But even after this incident, 
he continued to suggest various side trips, such as a 
trip to visit the ancient Yukagir burial sites. To that. 
Boas had to answer rather bluntly, "I think that the 
journey to the ancient graves of the Yukagirs is practi- 
cally out of the question on account of the additional 
expense" (Boas tojochelson, 5 December 1 898, AMNH- 
DA). Then Bogoras proposed a similarly unwelcome 
side trip. He suggested a route for his expedition that 
was obviously designed not so much to meet the goals 
of Boas and the jNPE as to satisfy his personal scientific 
interests. After consulting with Nikolay Condatti, the 
former governor of the area, Bogoras wrote to Boas 
regarding the route of the expedition: 

The best starting point should be Markovo 
on the river Anadyr . . . [from there] to the 
Chaun Bay and . . . along the coast to Bering 
Strait . . . [then] Naukan and Welen, the 
greatest villages of the littoral Chukchee, 
[and] return to Anadyr by baidara [skin boat] 
in the next summer. In that way I can visit all 
the littoral villages of both oceans. (Bogoras 
to Boas, 22 March 1899, APS-NYPL) 

This was an ambitious and clever plan. Bogoras 
was, quite understandably, more interested in the 
Maritime (or coastal) Chukchi than in the Reindeer 
people whom he already knew, so he tried to con- 
vince Boas of this plan. He seemed also unaware at 
that time that Naukan was not a Chukchi village 
but a Yupik one. 

The study of Chukchean language had been 
made by me before and needs now but for 
some supplement, the more that in the 
Chukchee there exist but very scarce differ- 
ence of dialect. I have also collected materi- 
als concerning the material state of life, folk- 
lore, rites and myths, family and tribe life etc. 
of the reindeer Chukchee. In my further study 
I must firstly complete all these informations 
and secondly get corresponding investiga- 
tion of the littoral part of the people. 
(Bogoras to Boas, 22 March 1899, APS-NYPL) 

8 3 

The timing of the expedition was also disputed. 
Both Bogoras and Jochelson were busy publishing their 
materials, and on top of that, Jochelson was planning 
to complete his doctoral exams in Switzerland. As late 
as July 1 899, Bogoras asked for Boas' consent to post- 
pone the start of the expedition until 1901 (Bogoras 
to Boas, 9 July 1 899, APS-NYPL). But the expedition, for 
both Bogoras and Jochelson, was obviously too at- 
tractive to risk missing the chance. Four days later, 
Bogoras wrote another letter and said that he would 
leave the decision in Boas' hands. He was ready to 
start right away: it was Just that 1901 would have 
been better for him. 

Boas was ready to postpone the expedition but 
was not happy about it. In a letter to Radloff, he wrote: 

I have agreed to his [Bogoras'] request to 
delay his expedition until 1 901 , although I 
should be glad to get the whole matter 
started. ... If you do not consider the delay 
necessary, I beg to ask you kindly to sug- 
gest to him the desirability of not delaying 
the expedition any longer than is absolutely 
necessary. (Boas to Radloff, 8 August 1 899, 

Eventually, the whole matter was settled. Shortly 
before leaving Switzerland, Jochelson informed Boas 
that he had convinced Bogoras not to postpone the 
expedition (20 August 1 899, AMNH-DA). In a joint let- 
ter 1 1 days later, Bogoras and Jochelson informed Boas 
that they had had a conference, that Radloff insisted 
that Bogoras go together with Jochelson, and that they 
would come to New York in mid-February 1900. The 
"mutiny" was suppressed; the Russians were now ready 
to go at the time and to the area decided by Boas and 
to become students. "We would like to know how 
much time will be required to get acquainted with 
your anthropometrical methods, as well as with other 
goals of the expedition" (Bogoras and Jochelson to 
Boas, 31 August 1899, AMNH-DA). 

Why was the idea of such an expedition so attrac- 
tive to both Bogoras and Jochelson? We will probably 
never know; perhaps they wanted to return as free 
people and scholars to the land of their exile to prove 


something to somebody, or perhaps they believed 
that this expedition would, as Boas put it, "materially 
contribute to their reputation and assist them in ob- 
taining a satisfactory station in life," or perhaps they 
had fallen in love with ethnography. 

New Scenario for the Expedition 

Boas began advising Jochelson and Bogoras on the 
literature they should acquaint themselves with be- 
fore departing. He sent them copies of the first publi- 
cations on the Jesup Expedition (Boas 1898a, 1898b, 
1 898c), Hoffman's monograph on the art of the Es- 
kimo (Hoffman 1 897), and Petitot's book on the Cana- 
dian Indians (Petitot 1 886). He also referred them to 
Aurel Krause's volume on the Tlingit (Krause 1 885), to 
his own Indianische Sagen (Boas 1 895), to his newly 
published contribution on KwakiutI social organiza- 
tion and secret societies (Boas 1 897), and to some 
other books. "The most important literature on the 
Pacific Coast of North America," Boas added, "is con- 
tained in the early descriptions of Veniaminoff 
[Veniaminov 1846— N.V.], the early Russian mission- 
ary, which you will certainly find in St. Petersburg" (Boas 
to Jochelson, 1 9 September 1 899, AMNH-DA). 

After many discussions, a new plan for the expedi- 
tion was drawn up jointly by Jochelson and Bogoras 
and approved by Boas. According to this plan, the 
two Russian participants were to do research on the 
Koryak as a team. They were planning to go first to 
the small Russian town of Gizhiga on the coast of the 
Sea of Okhotsk and spend half a year together work- 
ing among the nearby groups of Koryak. Jochelson 
was to take the photographs and anthropological 
measurements and make the plaster-of-paris masks, 
while Bogoras was planning to study the Koryak lan- 
guage (using his previous knowledge of the closely 
related Chukchi). Ethnographic work was to be done 
jointly, but mostly by Jochelson, since it would be his 
task to write a book on the Koryak for the Jesup Expe- 
dition series. After that, they proposed to go to the 
Anadyr River together and to share the work among 


the Chukchi in the same manner: Bogoras would docu- 
ment the language and folklore, while Jochelson would 
handle the anthropometry and photography. By the 
end of spring 1 901 Jochelson would go backtoCizhiga 
to complete the work on the Koryak, while Bogoras 
would proceed to the Arctic coast and on to the Bering 
Strait. On their return to the United States, Bogoras 
would complete two volumes: a study of both lan- 
guages, Koryak and Chukchi, and a monograph on the 
Chukchi (for the JNPE series). Jochelson would present 
the bulk of the photographs and anthropometry and 
would write a monograph on the Koryak, working from 
the data collected by both of them. Jochelson also 
proposed that he write a detailed monograph on the 
Yukagir and their language on the basis of both exist- 
ing and new materials (Bogoras and Jochelson to Boas, 
30 October 1 899, AMNH-DA). 

This seemed a good plan, although it was some- 
what removed from Boas' original research program 
for the JNPE Siberian division. In any case, this exact 
plan did not materialize in the field; instead, Bogoras 
and Jochelson came to New York, met Boas face to 
face, and sorted out numerous minor disagreements 
and misunderstandings. I believe that they must have 
personally liked each other, for the final plan of the 
expedition bears visible traces of compromise, collec- 
tive thinking, and consensus. 

In late November 1 899, before departing for New 
York, Bogoras went to the Caucasus to attend to some 
personal matters, and Jochelson paid a short visit to 
Zurich. They agreed to meet in Antwerp by the end of 
the year and informed Boas that they were coming to 
New York around February 1 900. 

Formal Contract and the Final Plan 
In late March 1 900, after Jochelson and Bogoras ar- 
rived in New York, a formal contract between Morris 
Jesup and Vladimir Jochelson was signed [and cosigned, 
probably later, by another Russian, Alexander Axelrod, 
a junior friend and assistant of Jochelson and Bogoras, 
who was hired as the Siberian team field assistant— 

ed.]. Under this contract, Jochelson was appointed to 
take charge of JNPE activities in northeastern Asia. The 
expedition consisted of four people: Jochelson; Bogoras; 
N. C. Buxton, a zoologist in charge of zoological col- 
lecting for the AMNH; and Axelrod. In addition, the 
two wives, Mrs. Jochelson [Dina Jochelson-Brodsky, 
1 864-1 941 ] and Mrs. (Sofia) Bogoras were allowed to 
accompany the expedition in the field, although the 
expenses were to be deducted from their husbands' 
salaries at the expedition's end. The object of the ex- 
pedition was formulated as "ethnological and biologi- 
cal survey of northeastern Asia, in accordance with 
special instructions given to you under this date by 
Professors J. A. Allen, Franz Boas, William Beutenmuller, 
and L. P. Gratacao" Cesup to Jochelson, 24 March 1 900, 

Two days later. Boas wrote the letter containing 
the final instructions. It was a good example of a com- 
promise between the two parties: it combined the 
original plans Boas had envisioned for the northeast- 
ern Asian research and numerous (and often contradic- 
tory) suggestions and amendments put forward by 
the Russian scholars. The document is very carefully 
worded; every expression, every word, even the order 
of some words, was evidently the result of many dis- 
cussions. This final plan was written to satisfy every- 
one. As Boas stated: 

The principal object of your work will be a 
thorough investigation of the Koryak, 
maritime Chukchee, and eastern Yukagheer 
from all points of view, ethnological, 
linguistical, and somatological. You will use 
every effort to collect as full information and 
as full collections as possible from these 
tribes. Your collections are to embrace, so far 
as feasible, the whole range of objects 
manufactured by the tribes enumerated 
above. You will endeavor to represent fully in 
your collections objects that are new to 
science. You will also make special efforts to 
obtain a good collection of anthropological 
photographs and plaster casts. You will 
make studies and collections among the 
Lamoot, reindeer Chukchee, Eskimo, and 
Kamchadal if opportunity should offer; but 
these are not the primary object of the 


expedition. You will use your judgment in 
determining the movements of the expedi- 
tion in the field, and you are expected to 
arrange the movements of the party in such 
a way as will secure the best results. (Boas to 
Jochelson, 26 March 1900, AMNH-DA) 

It seems that after meeting with the two Russians, 
Boas gained a wider perspective and saw greater po- 
tential in ethnographic work in Siberia. Now, instead 
of insisting that they do only what was assigned to 
them by the JNPE plan, he tried to exploit the sudden 
opportunity of learning and acquiring more than he 
had expected. The rather liberal instructions quoted 
above as regards the schedule, the route, and the list 
of Native peoples that the expedition had to explore 
can be seen as confirmation that Boas' attitude to- 
ward the project had changed slightly. Some time later, 
learning that Jochelson was planning to return from 
northeastern Asia to St. Petersburg not via New York 
but by land across Siberia and that on his way he would 
be passing the land of the Yakut [Sakha], Boas wrote a 
special letter to Jesup. In it, he stated that, although 
the Yakut people were, of course, "beyond the scope 
of the JNPE, it would be a shame to miss such a rare 
opportunity and not to acquire, with Jochelson's help, 
his Yakut collection for the Museum" (Boas to Jesup, 26 
March 1900, AMNH-L). 

"Double-Faced Janus" 

In the meantime, all the necessary steps were taken to 
secure the cooperation of the Russian government. 
Boas wrote to Radloff in March 1 899, "I beg you to 
inform the Imperial Academy of Sciences of our plans, 
and to solicit the assistance of the Academy in carry- 
ing out the work" (Boas to Radloff, 24 March 1 899, 
AMNH-DA). Letters were also written to everyone con- 
cerned. Jesup wrote a special letter to Governor-Gen- 
eral Crodekov of Amur Province thanking him for his 
"valuable assistance" to Laufer and asking for further 
assistance to Jochelson's team in regard to transporta- 
tion to Gizhiga (Jesup to Grodekov, 9 March 1 900, 
AMNH-DA). In October 1899 Radloff wrote to Jesup: 

I am very glad that the affairs regarding the 
expedition to North-eastern Siberia are in 
good shape, and I shall do my best that the 
Messrs Bogoraz and Jochelson shall receive 
all possible aid from the Russian Government. 
(Radloff to Jesup, 26 October 1899, AMNH-DA) 

Both Jochelson and Bogoras received open letters from 
the Russian government that ran as follows; 

All institutions and persons under the juris- 
diction of the Ministry of the Interior are 
herewith commanded to render the bearer of 
this all possible aid within their lawful 
powers, to enable him to discharge his 
mission. [Dated November 11, 1899 and 
signed Head of the Ministry of the Interior 
etc., etc. Sipyagin; Director of the Depart- 
ment of General Affairs . . . Trepov.] 

Five months later, when Jochelson and Bogoras were 
already on their way to Vladivostok, the Russian Min- 
istry of the Interior issued a completely different mes- 
sage (28 April 1 900). Confidential instructions were 
sent to the local Siberian officials in charge requesting 
that secret surveillance be established to monitor the 
actions of both Bogoras and Jochelson. It was stated 
that, due to their earlier antigovernment activities, it 
was "entirely unwarranted to render them assistance 
of any kind in the scientific work assigned to them" (for 
discussion, see Freed et al. 1 988). As Bogoras put it in 
one of his letters to Boas several years later, and in a 
different connection, "this is Russia, you know." 

The whole story became known several years later 
when a Russian-language newspaper, Osvobozhde- 
niye ("Liberation"), based in Stuttgart, published an ar- 
ticle entitled "The Double-Faced Janus." The story was 
actually written by Jochelson himself in January 1903 
in St. Petersburg but was published under the alias 
"Docent." The article was later translated into English 
for Morris Jesup's attention and information. In a cover 
letter. Boas wrote: 

I think the loyalty of Mr. Jochelson, who 
knew about all these matters while in Siberia, 
and the energy and skill of both Messrs. 
Jochelson and Bogoras, deserve special 
commendation under these circumstances. . . 
. You will appreciate how difficult the work 



of both Mr. Bogoras and Mr. Jochelson was 
made by these secret orders; and the full 
success of their investigation deserves, for 
this reason, the highest praise. (Boas to Jesup, 
4 March 1903, AMNH-DA) 

Epilogue: The Beginning 

Five years after the idea of a full-scale anthropological 
and linguistic expedition in the North Pacific area first 
struck Franz Boas, the second Siberian party of the 
Jesup Expedition, led by Vladimirjochelson and Vladimir 
Bogoras, was set to leave for fieldwork on the North- 
east Coast of Siberia. 

On May 1 6, 1 900, Jochelson and Bogoras arrived 
in Vladivostok. Here they met Axelrod, who had pre- 
ceded them. Everything that had been shipped from 
Russia and Europe arrived safely, and they began get- 
ting the equipment ready. In his first letter to Boas, 
Jochelson wrote that Governor Grodekov was very 
obliging and had promised to give them any help they 
needed (Jochelson to Boas, 20 May 1900, AMNH-DA). 
Obviously, the governor had not yet received the se- 
cret memorandum from the Ministry of the Interior cir- 
culated two weeks earlier. 

On June 1 4 Bogoras and his wife Sofia left for 
Mariinsky Post at the mouth of the Anadyr River on 
board the ship Baikal. About a month later, on July 24, 
Jochelson and his wife Dina Jochelson-Brodsky (accom- 
panied by Buxton and Axelrod) followed them. The 
main work of the JNPE in Siberia thus began. 

The history of the JNPE Siberian fieldwork in 1 900- 
02, as well as the long and painful story of the publica- 
tion problems, took place against the backdrop of, 
and was illuminated by, the many dramatic events of 
the first third of the 20th century. These included World 
War I, the three Russian revolutions and the Russian 
Civil War, the Great Depression, and other milestone 
events in the history of the two countries (see also 
Kan, this volume). As such, it deserves to be the sub- 
ject of a special study and is more than this one paper 
could hope to encompass. 


This work was made possible by the Fulbright Schol- 
arship I was awarded in 1 993 (November 1 993-Feb- 
ruary 1 994), as well as by the generous cooperation 
of the American Museum of Natural History in New 
York. I also wish to thank my friends and colleagues, 
who provided assistance, help, and compassion dur- 
ing this work. 1 am especially grateful to Igor Krupnik 
and Bill Fitzhugh for inventing this insightful and stimu- 
lating project, Jesup 2; to Belinda Kaye, archivist at the 
AMNH Department of Anthropology; and to Barbara 
Mathe, then the archivist at the AMNH Library. Their 
priceless help and friendly cooperation made this work 
not only possible but often pleasant. 1 am also grateful 
to Sergei Kan for sharing his data with me; to Laurel 
Kendall, who, apart from valuable bibliographical as- 
sistance, admitted me into her office at the AMNH for 
three months, without realizing how much trouble this 
would cause; to Tom Miller for his friendly, practical, 
and timely advice; and to Molly Lee, the first reader of 
the first draft, for most valuable critique. 


1 . Part of the Boas-Bogoras-Jochelson- 
Shternberg correspondence is currently held at the 
Archives of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 
St. Petersburg (RAS-J and RAS-B). Some of Bogoras' 
and Shternberg's personal collections are stored 
at the Archives of the Museum of Anthropology 
and Ethnology in St. Petersburg (MAE); Jochelson's 
collection is mostly at the Institute of Oriental 
Studies (iOS), St. Petersburg (see the description 
of the Aleut section of the latter collection in 
Bergsland and Dirks 1990). Originals of the Franz 
Boas Professional Correspondence are at the 
American Philosophical Society (APS) in Philadel- 
phia. Microfilms of Boas' correspondence are avail- 
able at many institutions; I used the New York 
Public Library copy (APS-NYPL). The major institu- 
tion that houses the papers and correspondence 
related to the Jesup North Pacific Expedition is, 
naturally, the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory in New York, in the Library, Special Collec- 
tions Division (AMNH-L), and in the Archives of 


the Department of Anthropology (AMNH-DA). 

2. The text of this letter is reproduced in 
Appendix A of Douglas Cole's paper, this volume— 

3. All dates for the Russian letters are "New 
Style" (referring to the Gregorian calendar that was 
adopted in Russia in 1918, replacing "Old Style," 
based on the Julian calendar). For example, this 
letter from Radloff has two dates: February 11/ 
23, 1898. 

4. The usual spelling in English is "Bogoras". 
In his Russian publications, it is always spelled 
"Bogoraz" or "Bogoraz-Tan" (Tan-Bogoraz), the lat- 
ter having being his political and academic pen 
name since the early 1900s. Judging by his let- 
ters of the JNPE years written in English, he pre- 
ferred that his name be spelled in the Russian way 
(Bogoraz), although in all his JNPE publications he 
is listed as Bogoras ed. 

5. A detailed discussion of this episode is 
available in Freed et al. 1988:12-13. 

6. The party's name in Russian was Narodnaia 
volia, conventionally and quite correctly translated 
into English as "People's Freedom." However, the 
word volia can mean mean both freedom and will 
(see Vladimir Dahl, The Dictionary of Russian, 
Moscow, 1956). The name of the party can thus 
be understood as "People's Will." 

7. Two types of political exile were in use in 
Russia before the Revolution of 1905, both de- 
termined either by courts or by the local adminis- 
trative authorities. Exile to a certain area (ssyll<a), 
usually to Eastern or Western Siberia, meant that 
one had to live in a small, remote town or village, 
had to report to the local police every week or 
month, and had no right to leave the place with- 
out special permission. Exile from a certain area 
(vysylka) usually meant that one was forbidden 
to live in the capitals, big cities, or central prov- 
inces of Russia but otherwise was free to move. 
Jochelson, Bogoras, and Shternberg were sen- 
tenced to ssylka—the worst kind of exile. 

8. I quote here from the available English 
translation of Jochelson's letters, originally writ- 
ten in German. These were translated in 1986 by 
Renate Khambatta and Laila Williamson; the trans- 
lation is now kept at the AMNH Department of 
Anthropology in New York. 

Al'kor, Yan P. 

1935 V. G. Bogoraz-Tan. Sovetskaia etnografiia 4- 
5:5-31. Leningrad, ffanslated in Antlnropology and 
Archeology of Eurasia 35(3):43-72 (1996-97).] 

Bergsland, Knud, and Moses L. Dirks, eds. 

1990 Aleut Tales and Narratives, Collected 1909- 
1910 by Waldemar Jochelson. Alaska Native Lan- 
guage Center. Fairbanks: University of Alaska. 

Boas, Franz 

1 888 The Central Eskimos. Sixth Annual Report of the 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 1884-85. Pp. 399- 
669. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. 

1 895 Indianische Sagen von der Nord-Pacifischen KCiste 
Amerikas. Sonder-Abdruck aus den Verhandlungen 
der Berliner Gesellschaft fur Anthropologie, Ethnologie 
und Urgeschichte, 1 891 bis 1 895. Berlin: A. Asher & 
Co. Reprint: Bonn: Holos Verlag, 1992. 

1 897 The Social Organization and the Secret Societ- 
ies of the KwakiutI Indians: Based on Personal Obser- 
vations and on Notes Made by Mr. George Hunt. 
Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1 895. Pp. 
31 1 -738. Washington, DC: Government Printing Of- 

1 898a Facial Paintings of the Indians of Northern Brit- 
ish Columbia. The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, \/o\. 
1 , pt. 1 , pp. 1 3-24. Memoirs of the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History, 2. New York. 

1898b The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. The Jesup 
North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 1 , pp. 1 -1 2. Mem- 
oirs of the American Museum of Natural History, 2. 
New York. 

1 898c The Mythology of the Bella Coola Indians. The 
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 2, pp. 25- 
127. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural 
History, 2. New York. 

Brown, W. A. 

1910 Morris Ketchum Jesup: A Character Sketch. New 

York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 
Dexter, R. W. 

1 976 The Role of F. W. Putnam in Developing Anthro- 
pology at the American Museum of Natural History. 
Cwrator 19:303-10. 

Fitzhugh, William W., and Igor Krupnik 

1994 The Jesup II Research Initiative: Anthropological 
Studies in the North Pacific. Arctic Studies Center 
Nev\/sletter (jesup II Newsbrief). Washington, DC: Arc- 
tic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution. 

Freed, Stanley A., Ruth S. Freed, and Laila 


1 988 Capitalist Philanthropy and Russian Revolution- 
aries: The Jesup North Pacific Expedition (1 897-1 902). 
American Anthropologist 90(l):7-24. 


Hinsley, Curtis M., Jr., and Bill Holm 

1976 A Cannibal in the National Museum: The Early 
Career of Franz Boas in America. American Anthro- 
pologist 78(2): 306- 16. 

Hoffman, Walter 

1 897 The Graphic Art of the Eskimos. Report of the 
U.S. National Museum for 1895. Washington, DC: 
Smithsonian Institution. 

Kan, Sergei 

1978 Lev Shternberg: From Revolutionary Populism 
to Evolutionary Anthropology. Manuscript. [Quoted 
with author's permission.] 

Kendall, Laurel 

1 988 Young Laufer on the Amur. In Crossroads of 
Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska. William 
W. Fitzhugh and Aron Crowell, eds. P. 1 04. Washing- 
ton, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 

Kennedy, J. M. 

1969 Philanthropy and Science in New York City: 
The American Museum of Natural History, 1 868- 
1968. Ph.D. diss.. University of Michigan, Ann 

Krader, Lawrence 

1968 Bogoraz, Vladimir C, Sternberg, Lev Y.; and 
Jochelson, Vladimir. In International Encyclopedia of 
the Social Sciences, vol. 2. David L. Sills, ed. Pp. 1 1 6- 
9. New York: Macmillan and Free Press. 

Krause, Aurel 

1 885 Die Tlinkit-lndianer: Ergebnisse einer Reise nach 
der Nord-westkuste von Amerika und der 
Beringstrasse. Ausgefuhrt im Auftrage der Bremer 
Ceographischen Gesellschaft in der Jahren 1880- 
1 88 1 durch die Doctoren Arthur und Aurel Krause / 
geschildert von Dr. Aurel Krause. Jena: Hermann 

Ol'denburg, Sergei F., and A. N. Samoilovich, 

1930 Pamiati L. la. Shternberga (1861-1927) (In 
memory of L. la. Shternberg). Leningrad: Akademia 
Nauk SSR. 

Petitot, Emil 

1 886 Traditions indiennes du Canada Nord-Ouest. Les 
Litteratures populaires de toutes les nations 23. Paris: 
Maisonneuve Freres et Ch. Leclerc. 

Proposed Explorations on the Coasts of the 

North Pacific Ocean 

1897 Science, n.s. 5(1 1 6):455-7. 

Rohner, Ronald P., ed. 

1 969 The Ethnography of Franz Boas: Letters and Dia- 
ries of Franz Boas Written on the Northvt/est Coast 
from 1886 to 1931. Chicago: University of Chicago 

Segel, S. 

n.d. The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. Manuscript. 
Stocking, George W., Jr. 

1973 Franz Boas. In Dictionary of American Biogra- 
phy, supp. 3. E. T.James, ed. Pp. 81-6. New York: 

Stocking, George W., Jr., ed. 

1974 The Shaping of American Anthropology, 1883- 
1911: A Franz Boas Reader. New York: Basic Books. 

Veniaminov, Ivan E. 

1846 Zamechaniia o koloshenskom i kad'iakskom 
iazykakh i otchasti o prochikh rossiisko-amerik- 
anskikh, s prisovokupleniem rossiisko-koloshenskogo 
slovaria, soderzhashchego bolee 1 000 slov (Remarks 
on the Tlingit and Koniag languages, and partly on 
others of Russian America, with the addition of a 
Russian-Tlingit dictionary containing more than 1 ,000 
words). St. Petersburg: Academy of Sciences. 


24/ Kwakwaka'wakw (KwakiutI) woman at Fort Rupert demonstrates cedar spinning for a museum life group, as Franz 
Boas and George Hunt hold up a backdrop. O.C. Hastings, photographer, 1 894 (AMNH 1 1 604) 



easures o 

f th 



^oasian {^thnoiogtj on the (^entra! |\jorthwest (^^oast 


The ambitious project of the Jesup North Pacific Expe- 
dition (1 897-1 902) was historically significant for many 
reasons: the cooperation between anthropologists and 
capitalists (see Freed et al. 1 988); the expedition's rich 
legacy of Siberian ethnography (see other papers in 
this volume); and its contribution to the understanding 
of important ethnological issues in the North Pacific 
Rim. However, the ethnographic legacy of the Jesup 
Expedition on the Central Northwest Coast, by which I 
mean the area populated by the Bella Coola [Nuxalk], 
the Oowekeeno, and the Heiltsuk [Bella Bella], is rather 
meager. The three cultures are closely related, and the 
latter two possess very similar languages. The poverty 
of the Boasian record in this region is possibly attribut- 
able in part to the practical difficulties Franz Boas had 
in getting the Jesup materials published. A survey of 
the archival materials, however, is equally unsatisfying; 
the American Philosophical Society indexes are sur- 
prisingly silent on Oowekeeno, Bella Bella, and Bella 
Coola material from the Jesup Expedition period. 

What we do have are a volume of Bella Coola myths 
collected by Boas and several Heiltsuk myths collected 
by Boas' Columbia colleague, the psychologist 
Livingston Farrand (Boas 1898a, 1898b, 1916:883-8, 
1 932).' Boas, assisted by George Hunt and Harlan Smith, 
conducted research at Bella Coola from mid-July to 
late August 1 897. Boas and Hunt were occupied pri- 
marily with the collection of myths, while Smith made 
cranial measurements and completed a valuable pho- 
tographic portfolio of the area (Boas 1 898a; see Tepper 
1 991 ; Thom, this volume). Farrand, along with George 

Hunt, spent about a month from mid-August to mid- 
September 1 897 in the village of Bella Bella; they were 
briefly joined by Harlan Smith, who made cranial mea- 
surements (Boas 1 898a). 

In 1 897, when the research was being carried out, 
both these societies were undergoing rapid, radical 
culture change and were displaying renewed cultural 
and political vitality. After decades of suffering the 
scourge of introduced diseases, these groups were 
relatively healthy, their populations were resurgent, and 
they were enjoying unprecedented prosperity. They 
were experimenting with new artistic and architectural 
styles, and they were attempting to reconcile evan- 
gelical Christianity with traditional belief systems. They 
were coming into contact with more than just the 
evangelical and commercial aspects of European and 
Canadian society. For instance, the Bella Coola had an 
unusual opportunity to observe European culture when 
a group of dancers was invited to tour Germany in 
1885-86 (Tepper 1991:142-9). They brought back 
many new ideas that they incorporated into their cul- 
ture. Most strikingly, Gothic architectural forms ap- 
peared in at least one chiefly house, where spires were 
used to represent a nearby mountain (Mc llwraith 
1948:194; Tepper 1991: 7). 

The Heiltsuk, in the village of Bella Bella, were en- 
gaged in what may be described as a "revitalization 
movement" based on enthusiastic Methodism (see 
Harkin 1 993).^ The Heiltsuk combined Methodist mor- 
alism and work ethic with traditional concepts of per- 
sonal power to create a powerful new ethos relevant 

9 3 

to contemporary problems. Although this resulted in 
the curtailing of many traditional practices, there was 
also a large element of syncretism present. Christmas 
celebrations bore a strong resemblance to potlatches 
and even, to some degree, to winter dances (ceremo- 
nies). Moreover, the self-initiated changes in Heiltsuk 
society had resulted in a level of prosperity unprec- 
edented in any native community in British Columbia. 
Local businesses, including a cooperative general store, 
flourished, providing the Heiltsuk with a reasonable 
supply of luxury items, as well as staples. While such 
changes may strike the romantic anthropologist as 
distasteful, they nevertheless were central to the 
evolving Heiltsuk identity at the turn of the century 
(Harkin 1 997). 

Ironically, the Methodist missionaries, not the eth- 
nographers, are the ones who give a full account of 
these changes. Although their reports are strongly bi- 
ased, missionaries such as C. M. Tate, the founder (in 
1 881 ) of the Bella Bella mission, were sensitive to cul- 
tural dynamics. Tate, along with his wife Caroline, kept 
a close journalistic record of changes in Heiltsuk cul- 
ture. Later missionaries, such as the first medical doc- 
tor to minister to the Heiltsuk, R. W. Large, were like- 
wise extraordinarily sensitive to a range of issues con- 
cerning culture change. It is relatively easy to factor 
out their biases and to derive a fairly good picture of 
Heiltsuk culture in this transitional period. Change did 
not always proceed smoothly; it was often resisted in 
ways both subtle and direct. The missionaries were, 
arguably, the very best observers of such things, as 
resistance was a threat to their authority. By drawing 
on missionary sources such as diaries, articles published 
in denominational journals, and membership and finan- 
cial records, it is possible to gain some understanding 
of fin de siecle Heiltsuk society (Harkin 1 993). 

The missionaries were biased against traditional 
culture, but they were nevertheless engaged in it. Boas, 
however, harbored a long-standing opposition to mis- 
sionary activities and a strong distaste when forced to 
rely on missionaries for linguistic data (Berman 1996; 

221-3; Stocking 1974:68-9). In part, this arose from 
ethical concerns generated by cultural relativism; in part, 
it reflected an unrealistic methodological stance that 
asserted several related principles (discussed below)— 
foremost among them, a positivist assertion that it 
was possible to be an unbiased and objective ob- 
server, in the fashion of the natural sciences. This stance 
was taken to great lengths, to the degree that Boas 
systematically disguised the identity of George Hunt 
and his role in actively generating ethnographic data 
for the Kwakwaka'wakw [KwakiutI] and other groups 
(Berman 1996:228-9). The idea was to reach some 
overarching, static, ideal type of culture, detached from 
its pragmatic and socially positioned moorings among 
real people. This stance proved difficult for Boas' 
KwakiutI ethnography and simply unworkable for his 
ethnography of the Central Coast. Ultimately, and ironi- 
cally, the obviously positioned observer, such as the 
missionary— provided he or she is reasonably sympa- 
thetic—is more reliable than the objective scientist. 

Boasian Fieldwork: Objects and Methods 

In contrast to missionary accounts, Jesup materials (and 
Boasian ethnography more generally) give little sense 
of a living community in transition. Indeed, Boas' often- 
affirmed commitment to empiricism notwithstanding, 
it is difficult to view Boasian texts as transcriptions of 
actual experience. Of course, Boas was driven by con- 
temporary concerns, such as the evidence for diffu- 
sion that myth and physical anthropology could pro- 
vide. Moreover, the rich legacy of KwakiutI ethnology, 
resting on its "five-foot shelf," is not to be dismissed 
(Darnell 1992:44-5). Although we cannot agree with 
Radcliffe-Brown that Boasian texts are utterly useless— 
indeed, the rich ethnographic minutiae of the KwakiutI 
work is its great strength— it is undeniable that Boasian 
materials fail to address any of the important and 
interesting cultural transformations that occurred 
under the very noses of the Jesup ethnographers 
(Berman 1996:216-7; Darnell 1 992:41 ). While it would 
be unfair to criticize Boas for failing to comprehend 



and thematize in his anthropology issues of social 
change that would not be addressed systematically 
until the first wave of acculturation studies in the 1 930s, 
we can allow ourselves to wonder why all evidence of 
history and change was systematically suppressed in 
Boasian texts. After all, the Bureau of American Ethnol- 
ogy ethnographer James Mooney did produce histori- 
cally and culturally sensitive work during the very same 
decade of the 1 890s. 

The situation is analogous to the position of Alfred 
Kroeber with respect to California ethnology and 
ethnohistory. As Buckley (1996) has pointed out, 
Kroeber consistently underrepresented the importance 
of history in understanding the contemporary Califor- 
nia Indians. What is more, he denied the severity and 
significance of genocidal policies and actions, which 
continued even after Kroeber was established in Cali- 
fornia. Clearly, Kroeber's failure to account for history 
and culture change, especially in comparison with con- 
temporaries such as T. T. Waterman and J. P. Harrington, 
was a moral as well as epistemological one. Boas' fail- 
ing was not primarily moral, as he spoke out against 
Canadian government actions that were certainly much 
less destructive than the California genocide. Never- 
theless, his systematic ethnography, like Kroeber's, 
failed to take account of such matters in the way that 
others, less systematic but more sympathetic, did. 

As a young anthropologist working the village of 
Bella Bella (Waglisia) in the mid-1980s, a village that 
my professional founding ancestor had visited in 1897 
and 1923, I was naturally interested to collect any 
stories that might persist. But few stories about Boas 
remained. The only information I ever heard— from sev- 
eral people— was that during his 1 923 visit Boas spent 
much of his time going to the post office. The post 
office was located several miles from the main village 
site, over low mountains; a round trip took two hours 
or more. The large investment of time in this activity 
illustrates the rather peculiar Boasian methodology— 
Berman aptly calls it "epistolary ethnography"— which 
relied heavily on postal services and was devoted 

above all to the production of texts (Berman 1 996:235). 

Three characteristics of Boasian fieldwork are worth 
examining, for they explain the dearth of information 
on dynamic social processes, particularly on the Cen- 
tral Coast: framing, textualism, and "Kwakiutlism." In 
fairness, these characteristics explain some of the 
strengths of Boasian anthropology as well, such as the 
rich legacy of KwakiutI ethnography and of myths and 
stories from other groups. 


Framing refers to Boas' method of sorting out the ab- 
original from that which was tainted by white contact 
and, generally, by the modern world (see Coffman 
1974:10). In his experiments with ethnographic film 
and in his principles of museum display, the object is 
strictly framed; it is recontextualized in an artificial frame 
that nevertheless purports to represent ethnographic 
reality Gacknis 1 985). Such simulacra allow for detailed 
description and (perhaps) analysis of the ethnographic 
object. They separate the object from its background, 
the semantic message from pragmatic "noise." In tex- 
tual ethnography, this goes beyond the problem of 
anachronism. Unlike Edward Curtis, who wished to re- 
capture a lost world that was in large part a product 
of his own and a collective national imagination. Boas 
observed what was actually present. However, what 
he observed was only an increasingly small part of the 
actual world and was, moreover, often dependent on 
the ethnographic frame itself. As Berman points out, 
the conditions of production of the KwakiutI texts were 
crucial to their existence (Berman 1 996:232). Hunt pre- 
pared texts in response to questions from Boas and 
after consulting with several informants. The end prod- 
uct is a distillation of Hunt's interpretation of both Boas' 
interests and the diverse testimony of informants. 

Even when Boas was carrying out his own field- 
work, the object of collecting texts that represented a 
whole culture's shared beliefs tended to filter out infor- 
mation that was not consistent with such a holistic 
and traditional picture. This ethnographic Heisenberg 


effect is to some degree an unavoidable part of field- 
work. However, the complete reliance on formal inter- 
views of elderly and "traditional" individuals, charac- 
teristic of Boas' Heiltsuk and Bella Coola research, se- 
verely limited the type and quality of data. The consti- 
tution of the ethnographic object by its frame may 
serve a useful pedagogic or scientific purpose, as in 
high-energy physics, but it does not provide much in- 
formation about the everyday world, or about pro- 
cesses common to the readers and objects of ethno- 
graphic texts. 

The peculiar framing device known as the "ethno- 
graphic present" is central to Boasian anthropology. It 
is a distancing technique, one that "denies coevalness" 
with the ethnographic object (Fabian 1 983). All ac- 
tion, apart from speech, takes place in a Neverland of 
unlived time. The ethnographic present is founded on 
the linguistic and logical paradox of past action that is 
recorded as if it were taking place in the present, on- 
going, and unaffected by normal relations of before 
and after. Not only are the ethnographic objects not 
to be found in the same historical epoch as the anthro- 
pologist and his readers; their world appears to be 
temporally constituted outside normal human time and 
being. In a rhetorical move opposite to Barthes' "real- 
ity effect," which rests on the verisimilitude created by 
temporal sequencing in historiography, the effect of 
reading texts cast in the "ethnographic present" is dis- 
tinctly one of unreality (Barthes 1 986:1 41 -8). 

In the introduction to his Jesup volume The Mythol- 
ogy of the Bella Coola Indians, Boas essays an ethno- 
graphic synopsis of the Bella Coola that epitomizes 
some of the distancing tropes employed throughout 
the Boasian corpus: 

The Bella Coola are a small tribe inhabiting 
the coasts of Dean Inlet and Bentick Arm, 
two long and narrow fiords situated in about 
latitude 52' north, in British Columbia. . . . The 
name "Bella Coola" is a corruption of the 
word "Bilxula" by which name the tribe is 
known to the Kwakiutl. There is no term in 
their own language embracing all the tribes 
speaking the Bella Coola languages. It seems 


that at a former time the tribe was quite 
populous; but, owing to various epidemics 
and the introduction of other diseases, its 
numbers have dwindled down, so that at 
present time it has been reduced to only a 
few hundred souls. (Boas 1898b:26) 

By various rhetorical means, Boas reduces the com- 
plexities of the lives of "a few hundred souls" to the 
abstract questions pertaining to "a small tribe." The 
first and most extraordinary linguistic act is a naming. 
As elsewhere in North America, ethnonyms are assigned 
to groups that have none, often using terms borrowed 
from other groups (see Harkin 1 988). Such a name is 
essential for the anthropologist, who, after all, studies 
tribes. For Boas, this naming was equivalent to desig- 
nating a Volk, with all that entailed.^ Such baptism 
was necessary to the overall framing strategy. 

The Volksgeist method originated by J. G. Herder 
and adapted by Boas relied on a certain degree of 
abstraction from observed reality. Questions of cul- 
tural psychology and group mind superseded the di- 
rectly observed fact. Although Boas at times strongly 
defended his approach as one of strict methodologi- 
cal individualism, it clearly was not that (Berman 
1 996:2 1 8; Liss 1 996: 1 71 ). Rather, it gave the researcher 
license to structure information in such a way as to 
demonstrate the "genius" of individual cultures (Bunzl 
1 996:69). Clearly, such a model deflects the immedi- 
ate interests and concerns of real people in favor of 
themes chosen by the researcher as indicative of the 
timeless truths of that culture. 

Boas alludes only briefly to the problem of change 
in Bella Coola society. He is forced to admit that "their 
numbers have dwindled down," but this does not pre- 
vent him from accepting the present as a true repre- 
sentation of the past, nor indeed of systematically 
doing away with any evidence of temporality. The re- 
mainder of the text is constructed after the manner of 
its inaugural statement: "The Bella Coola are . . ." 

Perhaps most striking about the quoted fragment 
is its emotional detachment from the physical suf- 
fering of the people who constitute the purported 


subject of Boas' text. Populations in the region de- 
clined from infectious disease by as much as 80 per- 
cent over the 50-year period prior to Boas' fieldwork 
(Boyd 1 990; Harkin 1 994). Although health and popu- 
lation levels were temporarily on the rise again at the 
turn of the century, fresh memories of great suffering 
would surely have been expressed to Boas and other 
Jesup ethnographers. It is a measure of their sangfroid 
and the perceived duties of the scientist that all this 
would have rated merely a token reference. Like his 
student Alfred Kroeber, who spoke of the genocide of 
California Indians as "the little history of pitiful events," 
Boas was relatively unconcerned with the hardships 
and anguish the people had experienced in recent 
memory (Buckley 1 996). 

Boas' emotional detachment is in great contrast 
to the other main observers of Native cultures, the mis- 
sionaries, who were, if nothing else, engage. On the 
matter of death and dying (of obvious concern to those 
professing the existence of a glorious afterlife), we hear 
the wailing and feel the sorrow of the death of chil- 
dren. A typical example of missionary writings during 
the plague years is by the wife of the first missionary 
to the Heiltsuk: 

They brought her home, and, seeing that she 
was seriously ill, we brought her to the 
Mission House; tried all within our power to 
restore her to health. But the delirium set in, 
and after three nights and days watching all 
that was mortal of Jane lay with folded 
hands in the sitting-room of the house, there 
to await Christian burial. One of her last 
conscious acts was to take her Bible from 
under her pillow, and kissing it lovingly she 
exclaimed, "Oh how I love Jesus!" (Tate 
1883:1 11) 

The pathos of this passage is representative of mis- 
sionary rhetoric. It is interesting that Native peoples 
should have received two sets of white visitors at the 
same time, with such opposite interests and textual 

Of course this was no coincidence. Boas' detached 
language represents, above all, an attempt to distin- 
guish his writings from those of others interested in 

Native cultures: missionaries, "do-gooders," Indian 
agents, and so on. Boas professes an interest that is, 
unlike those of other whites, disinterested. Again, the 
contrast with the ethnographer James Mooney is in- 
structive; Mooney, in his work on the Sioux Ghost Dance, 
never considered ethnography and empathy to be 
contradictory (see Mooney 1 896). 

Social, temporal, emotional, and geographic dis- 
tance is indeed essential to Boas' view of anthropol- 
ogy as a science. It is Claude Levi-Strauss who has 
most explicitly formulated this position. For Levi- 
Strauss, le regard eloignee (the distant, or distanced, 
view) is the sine qua non of anthropology (Levi-Strauss 
1976:55, 1985; Todorov 1988). This would seem es- 
pecially true for Boas, who felt the need of distancing 
in his early "psycho-physical" research among the Es- 
kimo of Baffinland. There he hoped to achieve the "sim- 
plest possible circumstances" in which to conduct his 
research into perception of the environment (Stocking 
1 968:1 40). Levi-Strauss— and, arguably, Boas— equated 
the scientific status of ethnography with "the relative 
simplification which affects every mode of knowledge 
when it is applied to a very distant object" (Levi-Strauss 
1976:47). Ironically, it was also Levi-Strauss who 
pointed out the connection between such distancing 
and the legacy of brutal conquest: "Anthropology is 
the daughter to this era of violence: its capacity to 
assess more objectively the facts pertaining to the 
human condition reflects, on the epistemological level, 
a state of affairs in which one part of mankind treated 
the other as an object" (Levi-Strauss 1 966:1 26, quoted 
in Buckley 1996). 

Boas certainly thought of himself as a scientist and 
placed great value on objective methods (Stocking, 
ed. 1974:11-2). Especially in Boas' time, the distinc- 
tion between science and hobbyism was crucial. Not 
only was anthropology just beginning to be 
professionalized in the United States and Canada, but 
the strong claims that evolutionary anthropology made 
to scientific status, based on its connection to evolu- 
tionary biology, were not available to diffusionist 


Boasians. If Boasian anthropology could not claim to 
apply to cultural data "the methods and the instru- 
mentalities of the biologist" (according to Otis Mason, 
as quoted in Stocking, ed. 1974:12), then it seemed 
that there was little, other than techniques of objecti- 
fication and distantiation, that prevented it from sink- 
ing into an antiquarian bog. 

Framing was, above all, an attempt to get at cul- 
ture as opposed to civilization, local as opposed to 
universal truths. This distinction is central to the Ger- 
man Counter-Enlightenment and laid the foundation 
for both Boasian anthropology and German ethnol- 
ogy (Bunzl 1 996:20; Stocking 1 992: 1 1 ; see also Kuper 
1988:149). It was an increasingly untenable position. 
The tension between the idea of local cultures as pure 
founts of the "genius" of a Volk and the reality of the 
colonial and postcolonial world resulted in increasingly 
radical framing devices. Boas' earlier published work 
among the KwakiutI (1897), ethnographically dense 
and admitting some questions of change, contrasts 
with his later, austere publication of "texts" (e.g., Boas 
1 928). This increasing tension perhaps accounts in part 
for the irony Krupat (1990) has noted in Boas' work, 
which he attributes merely to the tension between 
theory and fact.^ This tension is nicely epitomized in a 
famous photograph showing Franz Boas and George 
Hunt arranging a field photograph in Fort Rupert in 
1 894. Hunt and Boas are holding up a backdrop be- 
hind a KwakiutI woman dressed in traditional attire, 
spinning cedar (Fig. 24). The backdrop hides a picket 
fence and Victorian frame house, which would have 
"spoiled" the shot (see Berman 1996:237). 


Textualism, a quality of all Boasian anthropology, is a 
type of framing that masks itself. Textualism is a strat- 
egy designed to quarantine the object from lived real- 
ity. Texts are presented as if unmediated, as if the eth- 
nographer has done nothing other than record and 
publish texts that exist independently. The role of the 
anthropologist in eliciting the texts, and the role of the 

9 8 

narrator in creating and performing them, are sup- 
pressed. Above all, the role of translation, both cultural 
and linguistic, is denied. The mediation provided by 
"informants," and especially by the supremely media- 
tional figure of George Hunt, is never fully acknowl- 
edged (Berman 2000). These allegedly unmediated 
"genuine, difficult, confusing, primary sources" (Sapir, 
quoted in Darnell 1992:42) constituted the founda- 
tion of linguistic and ethnographic description and 

And yet texts were thought to be more than 
metonymic fragments of a culture. They were meta- 
phors of that culture, standing for a culture in toto. The 
idea of the text is little changed from that of the 
brothers Grimm, who saw folktales as the texts that 
would reveal der Geist (the spirit) of the Volk. Texts 
were viewed as standing in an "organic" relationship 
to society itself (Ziolkowski 1 990:1 08). They revealed 
a distinctive genius that, as Hegel believed, animated 
all aspects of society and through which one could 
approach specific social institutions (Ziolkowski 
1 990: 1 4). Wilhelm von Humboldt formulated this con- 
nection between text and Ceist most explicitly; for 
him a "radical identity" obtained between language 
and "the ideal totality of spirit" (Steiner 1992:86). It 
was this Humboldtian concept of language as text 
that framed the basic problematics of Boasian meth- 
odology (Bunzl 1996:69-70). 

Boas, of course, realized that there were other ex- 
pressions of culture, other types of data he might col- 
lect, but these were, in this sense, supplemental to the 
texts, which would reveal all. In his KwakiutI ethnogra- 
phy Boas did indeed collect and publish data on a 
large range of matters, in large part to bolster his 
diffusionist arguments on descent, totemism, and kin- 
ship (Berman 1 996:21 5-7; Kuper 1 988:1 35-40). These 
data were given a form which mimicked the canonical 
myths that he and Hunt also collected by systemati- 
cally erasing traces of their construction. This was not 
the case, however, for the Heiltsuk and Bella Coola, for 
which Boas provided ethnographic descriptions— 


ranging from very brief to nonexistent— appended to 
the texts/ Paradoxically, he comments that Heiltsuk 
culture had "practically disappeared" as he was 
collecting the texts— a statement that calls into ques- 
tion both the usefulness of his concept of culture and 
the posited connections between culture and myth 
(Boas 1928:ix). 

In his study of myths, Boas laid the foundation for 
the modern anthropological culture concept, although, 
as we have seen, this idea was borrowed directly from 
the German Vo/Zcs^e/sr tradition (Bunzl 1996:21 -9; 
Stocking 1968:214). In examining myths, the anthro- 
pologist gained access to a "deeper" level of culture 
that was partly unconscious, unrepresented, or 
underrepresented in manifest behavior, perhaps even 
the remnant of elements of culture that had disap- 
peared Gacknis 1996:198). Moreover, myths provided 
the basis for ethnological comparison and even the 
possibility of reconstructing histories of the region 
(Stocking 1968:206). By collecting complete sets of 
tales from different cultures in a region and statistically 
tabulating the results, Boas believed that he could an- 
swer all important questions about culture contact and 
diffusion (Boas 1 896; Stocking 1 968:207-8). 

This concern with myth has become characteristic 
of American anthropology in general, and yet the un- 
derlying Boasian assumptions have attenuated con- 
siderably. For Boas, the burden placed on myth is such 
that it is made to bear the entire weight of a culture. In 
practical terms, this meant that for the non-KwakiutI 
cultures Boas studied or on which he commissioned 
studies, myth is the only data published, even if other 
sorts of data were collected. When Boas and Hunt 
returned to Bella Bella in 1 923, they collected a variety 
of data on religion and social organization (Boas 1 923). 
Several hundred pages of notes deal with beliefs and 
practices that were rapidly disappearing, especially the 
Winter Ceremonial. Very little of this material, however, 
was published (see Boas 1924, 1928, 1932). 

The only justification for the view that myth stands 
for culture in toto— which, if never expressed so baldly, 


was nevertheless the operating principle of Boasian 
research— is a form of neo-Kantian idealism that sub- 
ordinates all factors to mental ones. This is seen most 
clearly in the work of the German psychologist Theodor 
Waitz, which was read and cited extensively by Boas 
and Boasian anthropologists (Smith 1991:49). Waitz 
held that human cultures were united by a shared psy- 
chic unity but that important cultural differences were 
expressed in myth. Cultural variation was a product of 
environment, history, and the existence of individual 
geniuses— ideas clearly influential in Boasian anthropol- 
ogy, although Boas preferred to talk about the genius 
of culture, in the Humboldtian vein. 

While not evident in all aspects of Boas' work, these 
ideas permeate his research on myth, which was 
strongly influenced by other anthropological idealists, 
such as Bastian and Tylor (themselves influenced by 
Waitz), who were interested in the "psychic life" of primi- 
tive peoples (Bunzl 1996:49-51; Stocking 1968:152, 
207). It is on this ground that Boas and Levi-Strauss, so 
different in other respects, meet. Like Waitz, Boas, in 
his desire to distance himself from the racialist elements 
of German romanticism, exaggerated the significance 
of myth as a mental phenomenon in the constitution 
of culture (Smith 1 991 :50; Stocking 1 992:92-1 1 3). He 
was so engrossed with the collection of myths that he 
viewed performed culture, such as the Winter Ceremo- 
nial, as a hindrance to the collection and transcription 
of texts Oacknis 1996:199). 

The problems with such a view from a philosophi- 
cal position have been addressed repeatedly in the 
social sciences. For present purposes, it is appropriate 
to address the issue on a more pragmatic level. The 
relation between myth and social change is worth ex- 
ploring, for my initial critique of Boas rested on his habit 
of ignoring dynamic processes. 

Myth may give us a sort of "window" into the past, 
as Boas says, in the sense of providing data on migra- 
tions and diffusion, but this is Ratzelian history on a 
very large scale that is not likely to be relevant to 
the people telling the myths. Using the very Boasian 

9 9 

concept of culture as it has been adapted by modern 
American anthropology, we can say that it is precisely 
an i7cu/tura/ history that is thus provided. Oral tradition 
can, indeed, provide data and insight into remembered 
historical events on a human scale, a truly cultural his- 
tory (Harkin 1 988). There is, however, a time lag of a 
generation or more between the event itself and the 
appearance of a myth— as opposed to anecdotal nar- 
ratives—about the event. Moreover, as time passes, 
the myth becomes more "mythlike," more canonical, 
and less anecdotal. After a few generations, the new 
myth may be indistinguishable in form from other myths 
(Vansina 1985:24). 

A methodological problem arises. If researchers are 
interested only in collecting "texts," or canonical myths, 
they will entirely miss the embryonic myth that speaks 
of relatively recent events and changes. Moreover, they 
will deny themselves the opportunity to study the pro- 
cess of myth-making and its relation to changing cul- 
tural contexts. How many of the "idiotic stories" Boas 
complained about (as quoted in Stocking 1 968:204) 
were such incipient myths, we cannot know. We do 
know that stories depicting the arrival of the white 
man, the effects of European disease, the fur trade, 
and Native warfare were in circulation at the time and 
constituted the most important means of understand- 
ing and coping with change available to the people of 
the Central Coast. The Boasian failure to treat these 
materials seriously calls into question the Volksgeist 
conception of texts and culture that Boas bequeathed 
to modern anthropology. 


A third critique of Boas applies especially to his work 
with the Heiitsuk and Oowekeeno. Boas' ideas about 
ethnic groups and boundaries revolve around a cen- 
tral feature of his ethnography, which we may term 
"Kwakiutlism." This is problematic in two senses. 
First, the term "Kwakiutl" does not properly denote 
even the groups that it primarily refers to— the 
Kwak'wala-speaking people of Fort Rupert, Alert Bay, 

and adjacent mainland and island groups. The Alert 
Bay group has adopted the ethnonym Kwakwak- 
a'wakw. These various groups do not recognize the 
common identity that is implied in the use of the 
ethnonym "Kwakiutl." A second, related problem is in 
the extension of the term to incorporate all the north- 
ern groups speaking North Wakashan languages, in- 
cluding the Heiitsuk, Haisia, and Oowekeeno. It is im- 
possible now to eliminate the term "Kwakiutl" from 
our vocabulary, but I will use it selectively to refer to 
the core groups that Boas studied. 

The ethnography of the Kwakiutl was Boas' life 
work. As such, it is understandable that the Kwakiutl 
constituted a fixed point of reference for him and that 
he would compare other Northwest Coast groups with 
them. It is even unsurprising that he would accept the 
Kwakiutl view of the social landscape and their central 
place in it. As Buckley (1 989) has cogently argued with 
reference to Kroeber's Yurok-centrism, the assumption 
that the group an anthropologist studies is in some 
way central is borrowed from that group's own eth- 
nocentric self-assessment. I would add that this inter- 
sects with the ethnographer's egocentrism to create a 
powerful concept that is reinforced both objectively 
and subjectively. While Kroeber's Yurok became a cul- 
tural climax. Boas' Kwakiutl became a cultural empire. 

Like any empire— the German, for example— the 
Kwakiutl (as an ethnographic concept) could only "ex- 
pand" at the expense of their neighbors, the Heiitsuk 
and Oowekeeno. This augmentation was made on the 
basis of points of ethnographic correspondence. There 
are indeed a number of important similarities between 
Kwakiutl and Heiitsuk cultures. Most clearly, the Win- 
ter Ceremonials in the two cultures share many ele- 
ments. In large part, this is because the Kwakiutl bor- 
rowed many elements from the Heiitsuk, including the 
hamatsa, or cannibal dance (Boas 1 966:258, 402). This 
diffusion is attested by oral traditions prominent in the 
region, as well as by Boas' own data. However, the 
Kwakiutl Winter Ceremonial is somewhat different in 
that it combines two distinct traditions into a single 

1 00 


performance: the tsaiqa, or shamanic dances, and the 
dieaa, or crest dances (Boas 1 924). The KwakiutI per- 
formance loses the dialectical element so obvious in 
the Heiltsuk version. This also strongly suggests a north- 
to-south direction of diffusion, as Boas himself readily 
admits (Boas 1 924). 

Despite his awareness that the Heiltsuk, far from 
being peripheral to the culturally climactic KwakiutI 
(to borrow Kroeber's terminology), were correctly seen 
as the originators of much that the KwakiutI had 
borrowed, Boas still insisted on referring to them as 
"northern KwakiutI" and on viewing them officially as 
the Kwakiutl's poor relations. Even when faced with 
the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of language, 
Boas failed to grant the distinctiveness and "genius" to 
the Heiltsuk that he does to other groups such as the 
Bella Coola. 

The boundary between Kwak'wala and Heiltsuk is 
one of language, not dialect. They are both members 
of the North Wakashan subfamily, along with 
Oowekyala and Haisla. The two languages are approxi- 
mately as close as Dutch and German; there are a large 
number of cognates, but little mutual intelligibility. It is 
a testament to George Hunt's linguistic skills that he 
was able to communicate at all with Heiltsuk consult- 
ants, even though much of the 1923 fieldwork was 
conducted in English (Boas 1 923). The transcription of 
Heiltsuk terms reflects a consistent Kwak'wala bias. 
While Boas acknowledges these difficulties, he never 
admits that they cast doubt on his Kwakiutlist assump- 
tions (Boas 1 924). Language, in theory, is not itself suf- 
ficient to constitute cultural boundaries, but it is sig- 
nificant that nowhere else on the Northwest Coast does 
Boas see cultural wholes not coterminous with linguis- 
tic boundaries. 

In fact the KwakiutI constitute a special case in 
which the judgment of cultural boundaries was a priori. 
The Heiltsuk certainly do not consider themselves to 
be KwakiutI. If Boas had asked them, he would have 
learned that they consider themselves to be closely 
related to (although not identical with) the Bella Coola, 


Oowekeeno, and Haisla. So, if Boas wanted an example 
of strong cultural affinity crossing linguistic boundaries, 
the Heiltsuk and Bella Coola provided such a case. He 
mentions a number of similarities between the Bella 
Coola and the "KwakiutI" but never fully examines the 
issue of Heiltsuk and Bella Coola affinities, apart from 
the Fort Rupert tribes (Boas 1 898b: 1 24-5). Certainly, 
there would be much more justification for consider- 
ing these two groups to be a "single culture" than for 
thinking of the Heiltsuk as KwakiutI. 

There is a fundamental epistemological problem 
underlying the designation of groups as cultures. 
Since Fredrik Barth's important work, modern anthro- 
pologists need no longer trouble themselves with find- 
ing perfect matches between social groups and cul- 
tures, even in tribal societies (Barth 1969). However, 
for Boas ethnic boundaries enclosed unique and au- 
tonomous lifeworlds, replete with their own modes of 
thought, their own "genius," revealed especially in their 
myths. This is the relativism of Herder and the German 
Counter-Enlightenment (Berlin 1 991 ;37-9). The danger 
of strong forms of relativism is, of course, solipsism. 
Certainly, the various groups Boas encountered on the 
Northwest Coast were very different from European 
cultures, and Boas' relativistic assumptions could easily 
be justified in this context. However, could each indi- 
vidual group be its own self-contained lifeworld, in 
opposition to all others? Boas himself was never clear 
on this; he seemed to waver between ideas of the 
genius of cultural wholes and the diffusion of cultural 
traits (Liss 1996:1 71-5; Stocking,ed. 1974:4-6, 1996). 

Designating a group as "a culture" was something 
that could be done only after the analysis of cultural 
elements and their paths of diffusion revealed that this 
"accidental accretion" resulted in "an integrated spiri- 
tual totality that somehow conditioned the form of its 
elements" (Stocking, ed. 1974:5-6). In the face of this 
rather paradoxical criterion. Boas seemed to fall back 
on two basic strategies: resorting to linguistic bound- 
aries as de facto ethnic boundaries, and establishing 
something like Barth's "plural societies." The first, more 

1 01 

common, strategy acknowledged the genius of indi- 
vidual groups, while the latter was a useful way of 
looking at cultural similarities and borrowings.^ 

The latter was applied to the case of the KwakiutI 
and other North Wakashan groups. Ironically, this 
represents potentially the greater theoretical advance- 
ment. In his construal of the inhabitants of 200 miles of 
British Columbia coast as "KwakiutI," Boas erred in a 
number of respects, but the concept of individual 
groups speaking different languages yet sharing an 
overarching culture is a valuable one. Of course, the 
idea is not original but has precedents in the German 
geographic tradition, especially in Friedrich Ratzel's 
concept of Lebensraum, or "living space" (Smith 
1 991 ;2 1 9-33). In fact, this area was a poor candidate, 
since a variety of cultural differences in, for example, 
descent, marriage, and kinship pertained among the 
Wakashan-speaking groups. The problem went beyond 
a poor application of the concept; rather, it lay in Boas' 
failure to comprehend that this concept of culture was 
different from the idea of a distinctive cultural "genius." 
To call the Heiltsuk KwakiutI is absurd; to say that 
there is a North Wakashan cultural sphere is not absurd 
and is, moreover, empirically testable. Although the 
results of such testing would be less than reassuring, 
the idea could be usefully applied to other groupings 
such as the Heiltsuk, Oowekeeno, Bella Coola, and 
Haisia or the Citksan, Nishga, and Coast Tsimshian. 

It is unfortunate that unreflective "Kwakiutlism" 
caused Boas to give short shrift to Central Coast groups. 
The paucity of Heiltsuk and Oowekeeno ethnographic 
material that we have, especially from the Jesup pe- 
riod, is due in large part to the assumption that these 
groups were in fact KwakiutI. As the KwakiutI had been 
treated extensively in earlier works (e.g.. Boas 1 897), 
there was no need to provide another complete eth- 
nographic corpus. 

Conclusion: The Central Coast as a Limit 
Case of Boasian Anthropology 

It should be clear from the foregoing discussion that 

Boas' concepts and methods of anthropology were 
tested and found wanting on the Central Coast. This is 
only partly because we have the rich KwakiutI 
material with which to compare it. The contradictions 
and weaknesses inherent in many of the concepts bor- 
rowed directly from the German Romantic and liberal 
social scientific traditions, and indeed the paradoxical 
manner in which Boas applied some of these ideas 
and methods, became more evident in his peripheral 
work. Boas as the ethnographer of the KwakiutI was 
guided in large part by praxis— by his pragmatic asso- 
ciation with the KwakiutI— although this dimension was 
systematically suppressed in his published work. In pe- 
ripheral regions, such connections were lacking, and 
he was forced to fall back on "first principles," which 
included the idea of objective science, the privileged 
place of texts, the autonomy of cultural wholes, and 
the idea of culture as a mental phenomenon, all bor- 
rowed directly, and with little change, from their Ger- 
man sources. 

German social theories of the middle to late 1 9th 
century were constructed within a specific political 
context, against the background of two broad issues: 
the Counter-Enlightenment revolt against French uni- 
versalism, and the unification of Germany, with the at- 
tendant problems of minority populations, especially 
Poles and Jews. Boas imported these theories into the 
new world of American anthropology, in many cases 
with relatively little self-awareness of the fact. The po- 
litical context of North American internal colonialism 
was much different from that of post-1 848 Germany. 
It is only logical that tools honed in the study of 
Thuringian peasants would be found less than optimal 
for the study of Northwest Coast Indians. 

Boas' strengths as an ethnographer, and especially 
a linguist, which were unparalleled in anthropology at 
least until Malinowski, were somewhat undermined in 
the case of the Central Coast by these theoretical weak- 
nesses and contradictions. It would be presentism of 
the worst sort to find fault with Boas for not operating 
with the full complement of modern anthropological 

1 02 


concepts and methods, some of which he helped to 
develop. This, however, does not preclude a critical 
reading of his work, or a comparison of his work on 
one group with that on another. By any reasonable 
standards, Boasian ethnography on the Central North- 
west Coast will be found wanting, instructive as the 
failure may be. 


1 . Farrand later became a university adminis- 
trator and was president of the University of Colo- 
rado and of Cornell University. 

2. In calling the Heiltsuk embrace of 
Methodism a "revitalization movement," I am ex- 
tending the sense in which the term is generally 
used. Several elements, however, suggest the 
usage: the importance of Native "prophets" and 
preachers, the centrality of ideas of disease, health, 
and purity in both missionary and Native discourse, 
and, of course, the background of sickness, cul- 
tural dislocation, and rapidly changing morals 
against which the movement appeared. By the 
standards of such things, this movement was quite 

3. Boas' designation of the Bella Coola as a 
Volk is especially interesting in view of the fact 
that he did not ascribe such status to the Heiltsuk. 

4. On the rhetoric of missionary writings, see 
Harkin (1993:7-10). 

5. Pragmatically, the shift in the nature of 
Boas' Northwest Coast publications reflects his 
attenuated engagement with the Northwest 
Coast— his personal distancing— and his practice 
of publishing George Hunt's materials with little 
editorial change. 

6. This belief in unmediated perception of 
truth, with its roots in Reformation theology, is 
characteristic of German Romantic philosophy, 
especially that of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (see Ber- 
lin 1991 :190-1). 

7. Boas provides a single systematic, al- 
though extremely brief, description of Heiltsuk 
social organization (Boas 1924:329-32). The un- 
published field notes from Boas' and Hunt's sec- 
ond, post-Jesup, visit to Bella Bella (Boas 1923) 
are a rich source of data on social structure (al- 
though not on social change). 

8. This opposition between culture and re- 

gion between Volk and nation— was precisely 
the central political problem in the Germany of 
Boas' youth (see Smith 1991:94-5). 

Barth, Fredrik 

1 969 Introduction. In Ethnic Croups and Boundaries: 
Tine Social Organization of Cultural Difference. Fredrik 
Barth, ed. Pp. 9-38. Boston: Little, Brown. 

Barthes, Roland 

1 986 The Rustle of Language. Richard Howard, trans. 

New York: Hill and Wang. 
Berlin, Isaiah 

1 991 The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in 

the History of Ideas. New York: Knopf. 
Berman, Judith 

1 996 "The Culture as It Appears to the Indian Him- 
self: Boas, George Hunt, and the Methods of Eth- 
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says on Boasian Ethnography and the Cerman An- 
thropological Tradition. George W. Stocking, Jr., ed. 
Pp. 215-56. History of Anthropology, 8. Madison: 
University of Wisconsin Press. 

2000 Raven and Sunbeam, Paper and Pencil: George 
Hunt of Fort Rupert, British Columbia. Paper presented 
at conference, "Ethnologie de la Cote Northwest: 
Bilans et perspectives," College de France, Paris, June 

Boas, Franz 

1 896 The Growth of Indian Mythologies. Journal of 
American Folk Lore 9:1 -1 1 . Reprinted in Boas 1 940. 

1 897 The Social Organization and the Secret Societ- 
ies of the KwakiutI Indians: Based on Personal Obser- 
vations and on Notes Made by Mr. George Hunt. 
Report of the United States National Museum for 
1895. Pp. 31 1-738. Washington, DC: Government 
Printing Office. 

1 898a The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. The Jesup 
North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 1 , pp.1 -1 2. Mem- 
oirs of the American Museum of Natural History, 2. 
New York. Reprinted in Stocking, ed. 1974. 

1 898b The Mythology of the Bella Coola Indians. The 
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 2, pp. 25- 
127. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural 
History, 2. New York. 

1 91 6 Tsimshian Mythology: Based on Texts Recorded 
by Henry W. Teit. Annual Report for the Years 1 909- 
1910, #32. Pp. 29-1037. Washington, DC: Govern- 
ment Printing Office. 

1923 Bella Bella notes. Boas Collection 372, Reel 1. 
American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. 

1 924 The Social Organization of the Tribes of the 
North Pacific Coast American Anthropologist 26:323- 
32. Reprinted in Boas 1940. 

1928 Bella Bella Texts. Columbia University 


1 03 

Contributions to Anthropology, 5. New York: Co- 
lumbia University Press. 

1 932 Bella Bella Tales. Memoirs of the American Foli< 
Lore Society, 52. New York. 

1 940 Race, Language, and Culture. New York: Free 

1966 KwakiutI Ethnography. Helen Codere, ed. Chi- 
cago: University of Chicago Press. 
Boyd, Robert T. 

1990 Demographic History, 1774-1874. Handbook 
of North American Indians, vol. 7. Northwest Coast. 
Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. 

Buckley, Thomas 

1 989 Kroeber's Theory of Culture Areas and the Eth- 
nology of Northwestern California. Anthropological 
Quarterly 620)^ 5-24. 

1996 'The Little History of Pitiful Events": The Episte- 
mological and Moral Contexts of Kroeber's Califor- 
nian Ethnology. In Volksgeist as Method and Ethic: 
Essays on Boasian Ethnography and the German 
Anthropological Tradition. George W. Stocking, Jr., 
ed. Pp. 257-97. History of Anthropology, 8. Madi- 
son: University of Wisconsin Press. 

Bunzl, Matti 

1 996 Franz Boas and the Humboldtian Tradition: From 
Volksgeist and Nationalcharakter to an Anthropo- 
logical Concept of Culture. In Volksgeist as Method 
and Ethic: Essays on Boasian Ethnography and the 
German Anthropological Tradition. George W. Stock- 
ing, Jr., ed. Pp. 1 7-78. History of Anthropology, 8. 
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 

Darnell, Regna 

1 992 The Boasian Text Tradition and the History of 
Anthropology. Culture 17(l):39-48. 

Fabian, Johannes 

1 983 Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes 

Its Object. New York: Columbia University Press. 
Freed, Stanley A., Ruth S. Freed, and Laila 

1 988 Capitalist Philanthropy and Russian Revolution- 
aries: The Jesup North Pacific Expedition (1 897-1 902). 
American Anthropologist 90(l):7-24. 

Goffman, Erving 

1 974 Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization 
of Experience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University 

Harkin, Michael 

1 988 History, Narrative, and Temporality: Examples 
from the Northwest Coast. ff/7/10/7/storK 3 5:99-1 30. 

1 993 Power and Progress: The Evangelic Dialogue 
among the Heiltsuk. EthnohistoryAQA-3>3. 

1 994 Contested Bodies: Affliction and Power in Heiltsuk 
Culture and History. American Ethnologist 2] -.586- 

1 997 The Heiltsuks: Dialogues of Culture and History 

on the Northwest Coast. Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press. 
Jacknis, Ira 

1985 Franz Boas and Exhibits: On the Limitations of 
the Museum Method of Anthropology. In Objects 
and Others: Essays on Museums and Material Cul- 
ture. George W. Stocking, Jr., ed. Pp. 75-1 1 1 . History 
of Anthropology, 3. Madison: University of Wiscon- 
sin Press. 

1 996 The Ethnographic Object and the Object of Eth- 
nology in the Early Career of Franz Boas. In Volksgeist 
as Method and Ethic: Essays on Boasian Ethnogra- 
phy and the German Anthropological Tradition. G. 
W. Stocking, Jr., ed. Pp. 185-21 4. History of Anthro- 
pology, 8. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 

Krupat, Arnold 

1 990 Irony in Anthropology: The Work of Franz Boas. 

In Modernist Anthropology: From Field work to Text. 

Marc Magnaro, ed. Princeton: Princeton University 

Kuper, Adam 

1 988 The Invention of Primitive Society: Transforma- 
tions of an Illusion. London: Routledge. 
Levi-Strauss, Claude 

1 966 Anthropology: Its Achievement and Its Future. 

Current Anthropology 7:1 24-7. 
1 976 Structural Anthropology, vol. 2. Monique Layton, 

trans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
1 985 The View from Afar. Joachim Neugroschel and 

Phoebe Hoss, trans. New York: Basic Books. 
Liss, Julia E. 

1996 German Culture and German Science in the 
Bildung of Franz Boas. In Volksgeist as Method and 
Ethic: Essays on Boasian Ethnography and the Ger- 
man Anthropological Tradition. George W. Stocking, 
Jr., ed. Pp. 1 55-84. History of Anthropology, 8. Madi- 
son: University of Wisconsin Press. 

Mcllwraith, Thomas F. 

1 948 The Bella Coola Indians, vol. 1 . Toronto: Univer- 
sity of Toronto Press. 
Mooney, James 

1 896 The Ghost-Dance Religion and the Sioux Out- 
break of 1 890. Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bu- 
reau of American Ethnology. Pp. 301-97. Washing- 
ton, DC: Government Printing Office. 

Smith, Woodruff D. 

1 991 Politics and the Sciences of Culture in Germany 
1840-1920. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Steiner, George 

1 992 After Babel: Aspects of Language and Transla- 
tion. New ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Stocking, George W., Jr. 

1 968 Race, Culture, and Evolution: Essays in the His- 
tory of Anthropology. Chicago: University of Chi- 
cago Press. 

1 04 


1 987 Victorian Anthropology. New York: Free Press. 

1 992 The Ethnographer's Magic and Other Essays in 
the History of Anthropology. Madison: University of 
Wisconsin Press. 

Stocking, George W., Jr., ed. 

1974 The Shaping of American Anthropology, 1883- 
191 1: A Franz Boas Reader. New York: Basic Books. 

1 996 Volksgeist as Method and Ethic: Essays on Boasian 
Ethnography and the German Anthropological Tra- 
dition. History of Anthropology, 8. IVIadison: Univer- 
sity of Wisconsin Press. 

Tate, Caroline 

1883 Correspondence. Missionary Outlook 3.]]] . 
Toronto: United Church of Canada Archives. 

Tepper, Leslie H., ed. 

1991 The Bella Coola Valley: Harlan I. Smith's Field- 
work Photographs, 1 920- 1 924. Canadian Ethnology 
Service Mercury Series Paper 123. Ottawa: National 
Museum of Civilization. 

Todorov, Tzvetan 

1 988 Knowledge in Social Anthropology: Distancing 

and Universality. Anthropology Today A{2):2-S. 
Vansina, Jan 

1 985 Oral Tradition as History. Madison: University of 

Wisconsin Press. 
Ziolkowski, Theodore 

1 990 German Romanticism and Its Institutions. 
Princeton: Princeton University Press. 


1 05 

25/ Kwazi'nik, a NIaka'pamux woman from Spences Bridge, British Columbia, 1897. Harlan I. Smith, 
photographer (AMNH 1 1661) 

1 06 


|<^wazi niK 5 i Lj< 

Vision and ^tjmbo! in ^oasian j^e presentation 



The photographer crouches behind a tripod, head un- 
der a black cloth. Emerging, he steps forward and closes 
the lens, sets the shutter, loads the film holder into the 
back of the camera, and pulls the slide away from the 
plate. When all is ready, the photographer stands next 
to the apparatus, reviews the scene, makes any ad- 
justments, and issues last-minute instructions. Finally, 
the photographer presses a cable or pulls a string, the 
shutter is released, and the picture is taken. In the in- 
stant of exposure, the shutter opens, and the mechani- 
cal eye meets the gaze of the subject. What the cam- 
era records is the subject watching this photographic 
performance (Fig. 25). 

Now imagine the scene through the eye of the 
subject, a NIaka'pamux woman named Kwazi'nik. The 
reflected image of Harlan Smith the photographer— 
and his tripod can be seen in her eyes (Fig. 26). 

Collecting Images 

The photo was taken in 1 897 at Spences Bridge, Brit- 
ish Columbia, as part of Franz Boas' continuing col- 
laboration with the British Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science (BAAS) in describing the physical and 
human geography of western Canada. That year Boas 
combined his anthropometric work for the BAAS with 
a new and ambitious project for the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History (AMNH)^the Jesup North Pa- 
cific Expedition. 

Between 1 897 and 1 902 the expedition produced 
some 3,400 photographs.' The pictures were sent from 
the field to Boas in New York, where they became part 

of the AMNH collections from North Asia and the Pa- 
cific Northwest of North America. The visual informa- 
tion gathered by the expedition's photographers in- 
cludes scenes of daily and ritual activity, collected ar- 
tifacts shown in use, architecture, landscapes, and 
people wearing traditional costumes. The largest group 
of images consists of "physical types," photographs in 
which individuals were pictured from various angles 
(usually front, side, and three-quarter views; see Fig. 
27). These portraits were intended to complement 
physiognomic measurements, casts, and bones and 
help establish an anatomical databank of "racial" char- 
acteristics. Boas' instructions emphasized photogra- 
phy among the varied field activities. He directed 
Waldemar Jochelson, leader of the Siberian side of the 
expedition, to stress physical anthropology, charging 
him with "special efforts to obtain a good collection 
of anthropological photographs and plaster casts" 
(Boas to Jochelson, 26 March 1900, AMNH).^ 

Morris K. jesup, president of the AMNH and the 
expedition's patron and namesake, wanted a sweep- 
ing, illustrious scientific achievement for the museum. 
The search for the first Americans' racial origins had 
caught the public imagination. In a quest to prove the 
hypothesis that the first Americans had migrated across 
the Bering Strait from northern Asia, Jesup found a 
project of grandeur and scope to suit his Gilded-Age 
ambitions. As a scientist, Franz Boas was more inter- 
ested in reconstructing the histories of tribes to dem- 
onstrate relationships and historical contacts between 
North Asians and American Indians. 

1 07 

Boas and others were convinced that colonial 
incursions into the indigenous societies of the North 
Pacific had brought traditional cultures to the verge of 
disappearance. Boas' fieldworkers made a conscious 
effort to record or reconstruct traditions as remem- 
bered from the past. The combination of artifacts, texts, 
photographs, wax-cylinder recordings, casts, and physi- 
cal measurements was intended to form an encyclo- 
pedic body of data. The collections were chosen to 
illustrate as many facets of traditional peoples and 
cultures as possible. As a tool linking the expedition 
and exhibition phases of the museum enterprise, pho- 
tography was a valuable means of documentation and 

Boas' primary goal was accumulation— the collec- 
tion of racial, cultural, and linguistic information of all 
types on a massive scale. This project of salvage 
ethnology was a response to the social conditions of 
modernity that threatened traditions. Although remov- 
ing cultural artifacts from their contexts may have 
hastened the onslaught of change, science could at 
least record and preserve the past even as it was 
being effaced (Cruber 1 970). The urgent efforts of the 
photographers to preserve images of a vanishing past 
convey the anxiety of salvage anthropology, frame by 
frame. As Smith wrote to Boas from Eburne, 

I got the explanation of the house posts I 
bought as well as they could give them. The 
large one is interesting the man's figure they 
say is simply an ornament or a carving made to 
be a carving and had no meaning. . . . They 
don't seem to know as much of the old times 
as we wish they did. (1 7 May 1 898, AMNH) 

The museum photographers composed and col- 
lected scenes whose corresponding realities they did 
not expect to survive. Embedded within these ideal- 
ized, fragmented, metonymic images of culture were 
visual symbols of native tradition, heritage, and iden- 
tity. These distinctive features were chosen to repre- 
sent cultures not only as they then existed but in an 
imagined and reconstructed "ethnographic present," 
situated in the past and staged for the future. 

Dictated texts, sound recordings, photographs, and 
head casts— all objects that in some sense were cre- 
ated by and for science— can be thought of as docu- 
mentary collections which augment and explain col- 
lections of "found" objects (a category that includes 
most collected art and artifacts, as well as human 
bones). Although both types of collection depended 
on a complex negotiation of collaboration and coer- 
cion between anthropologists and Native subjects in 
the colonial-era encounters of the late 1 9th and early 
20th centuries, under certain circumstances documen- 
tary ethnographic collections might have allowed par- 
ticipating Native artists and informants a more active 
voice in deciding how they wished their cultures to be 
represented. Today, when North Pacific peoples and 
their cultures have not only survived but are growing 
more numerous and stronger in the expression of their 
unique identities, both documentary and "found" col- 
lections constitute a powerful and potentially con- 
tested resource for the reanimation and reinvention 
of traditions. 

The jesup Photographers 
Boas was an enthusiastic proponent of modern tech- 
nology in fieldwork, advocating the use of recording 
devices such as the camera and the phonograph to 
document cultural traditions. He had studied photog- 
raphy as a university student in Germany and, from his 
earliest solo trip to Baffin Island, had made use of pho- 
tographic equipment. Boas himself spent only about 
four months in the field on the Jesup Expedition, during 
the summers of 1 897 and 1 900, and no photographs 
are attributed to him personally. His ethos, however, 
pervaded the entire enterprise. 

Harlan Smith, then a young employee at the AMNH, 
was the principal photographer on the North Ameri- 
can side, producing more than 500 images on the 
Northwest Coast. ^ He was already familiar with Boas' 
methodology and ideas on anthropological represen- 
tation, having worked with Boas and George Hunt 
(Boas' principal collaborator) at the 1 893 Chicago 

1 08 


World's Columbian Exposition. In correspondence from 
the field, Smith referred to Boas' 1 894 work with West 
Coast photographer O. C. Hastings as a precedent." 
Hastings was also hired for the Jesup Expedition in 1898 
and worked as an assistant to Smith in Fort Rupert. 
Gerard Fowke took archaeological pictures in Victoria, 
British Columbia, in 1 898, as well as a small number of 
images in Siberia and the Russian Far East. Ethnologist 
Roland Dixon photographed Quinault and Quileute in- 
dividuals as part of his fieldwork for the expedition in 
Washington State in 1898. 

Two individuals on the American side of the expe- 
dition, George Hunt and James Teit, proved invaluable 
because of their close ties to Native communities; their 
influence on the photographic work of the Jesup Expe- 
dition was immeasurable. Hunt, the son of a British 
father and a Tlingit mother, was raised in the KwakiutI 
[Kwakwaka'wakw] community of Fort Rupert, British 
Columbia. He worked closely with other members of 
the expedition team, making their encounters with 
Indians more relaxed and perhaps more revealing. 
James Alexander Teit, an immigrant from the Shetland 
Islands who lived in Spences Bridge, was married to a 
NIaka'pamux woman, Susanna Lucy Antko. Kwazi'nik, 
who posed for Figure 25, was Antko's sister (Wendy 
Wickwire, personal communication). Teit's insider sta- 
tus allowed him to collect information not easily avail- 
able to others (see Thom, this volume). Although Teit 
took up the camera only after the Jesup Expedition 
years. Hunt started sending photographs back to Boas 
in New York as early as 1 901 , and he later went on to 
produce an important body of pictures (Cannizzo 1 983; 
Jacknis 1985). 

In Siberia, most of the photographs were taken by 
Waldemar Bogoras, Waldemar Jochelson, and Dina 
Jochelson-Brodsky. [Alexander Axelrod, the Siberian 
team assistant, probably also took several photo- 
graphs— ed.] Jochelson wrote to Boas in 1901 about 
his pictures of Koryak and Tungus, "Half of my photo- 
graphic plates are of anthropological subjects"— i.e., 
physical types. Jochelson-Brodsky, who interrupted her 

medical training under Rudolf Martin in Zurich to ac- 
company her husband on the expedition, took the an- 
thropometric measurements and assumed responsi- 
bility for much of the photography as well. Jochelson 
wrote to Boas in the summer of 1 901 , "Mrs. Jochelson 
has developed the plates and done the other photo- 
graphic work and acts now as my secretary" (3 Au- 
gust [22 July, old style] 1901, AMNH). 

Dina Jochelson-Brodsky measured the faces of some 
720 Koryak, Tungus, and Sakha [Yakut] men, women, 
and children. In addition, she produced anatomical 
measurements of more than 1 20 Tungus, Sakha, and 
Yukagir women's bodies. Together with her photo- 
graphs and plaster casts of heads, these data formed 
the basis of her dissertation in medical anthropology, 
which she eventually completed in Zurich. During the 
years of the Jesup Expedition, epidemics caused wide- 
spread population decline among the Koryak, Chukchi, 
and Yukagir, so opportunities to measure and photo- 
graph individuals were limited.^ In a 1 907 Journal ar- 
ticle based on her dissertation research, Jochelson- 
Brodsky reported that conditions had severely con- 
strained her work: 

Unfortunately, I was not able to make special 
women's measurements of the Koryak. We 
lived with the Gizhiga Koryak around Primorski 
region the entire winter of 1 900-1 901 .... My 
husband, myself, the interpreter and other 
assistants worked in our tight, small canvas 
tent, heated by a little iron stove. Faced with 
such arrangements it turned out I was not able 
to produce special measurements of Koryak 
women. (Jochelson-Brodsky 1 907) 

On both sides of the North Pacific, additional pic- 
tures were commissioned from local professional pho- 
tographers. In the Amur River region of the Russian Far 
East, Jesup anthropologist Berthold Laufer's dismal at- 
tempt at photography prompted Boas to urge him to 
hire a professional photographer instead (Kendall 1 988). 

Boxes of Light 

The elaborate performance of the view camera 
formally staged and framed the relation between 


1 09 

anthropologist and subject, visually marking the in- 
herent power imbalance that was at other times muted 
by friendly and casual exchange. The manipulation of 
scenes before the lens was a collaborative act of the- 
ater, a performance engaged in by foreign guest and 
Native host with varying degrees of coercion and co- 
operation. The extent to which the composition of 
pictures was designed and controlled by the photog- 
raphers and their subjects depended on factors that 
included the familiarity and relative status of photog- 
rapher and subject, the didactic purpose of the pho- 
tograph, lighting and weather conditions, and the tech- 
nical limitations of the apparatus. The project of sal- 
vage anthropology itself was often one of complicity 
between subject and collector to dramatize tradition. 
To represent a culture to the public, an image had to 
be reconstructed in the museum; frequently, this im- 
age was in turn based on a scene deliberately com- 
posed in the field. 

Turn-of-the-century technology imposed strict limi- 
tations on field photographers. Correct exposure gen- 
erally required subjects to hold still in well-lit and care- 
fully arranged poses. The slow film of the period and 
the large format of the view camera required either 
strong light or slow shutter speeds for good expo- 
sure. A tripod was almost always needed. Most of the 
photographs were taken outdoors. Although hand-held 
Kodak box cameras had been in use since the early 
1 890s, they were mostly relegated to amateur use. 
Instead, large view cameras with glass-plate negatives, 
capable of fine detail, were chosen for the expedition. 

While basic provisions like food and clothing could 
be obtained locally, specialized supplies and technical 
equipment had to be requested by post, shipped from 
New York to Vancouver or Vladivostok, cleared through 
international customs, stored in repositories, picked 
up, and finally transported to field sites. Some ship- 
ments never arrived, and others languished in ware- 
houses for months. Writing to museum clerk John Winser 
from Victoria in July 1897, Harlan Smith pleaded em- 

Please trace at once the phonograph cylin- 
ders and the photographic plates sent here 
to Dr. Boas from the museum in May. They 
are not here and as a consequence I have to 
pay big British Columbia prices for photo 
plates and to do without the phonograph 
cylinders. I have worked every means to get 
them from early morning. I have been to 
every depot, customs and express. This loss 
is a very serious matter to this year's work. I 
am bending every effort to try to secure 
them from some where before my steamer 
sails. (Smith to Winser, 30 July 1 897, AMNH) 

Almost a year later, during the second Jesup Expedi- 
tion field season. Smith wrote to Boas from Fort Rupert: 

At last the photographic plates, sent out 
here in 1897, have reached me and we have 
used some of them but find all the pictures 
taken with them failed. It is too bad they will 
be a dead loss on our hands. I will try one 
from each box and so try to use them. If one 
is good we will try others in the box. They 
are all speckled. I suppose caused by age or 
moisture while lying a year at Victoria. (Smith 
to Boas, 22 June 1 898, AMNH) 

The temporal and spatial constraints of photo- 
graphy's fixed vantage point and moment of expo- 
sure could be partially compensated for by picturing a 
subject from several angles in succession. In photo- 
graphs, sequences could string moments together, en- 
hancing time, and panoramas could extend the space 
of the camera, overcoming the boundaries of the pic- 
ture frame. These techniques were used to broaden 
the parameters of the medium, to capture landscapes 
and views that could not be contained within the con- 
fines of an individual photograph (Figs. 28, 29). The 
conventional front, side, and three-quarter views of 
1 9th-century physical-type photography provide a clas- 
sic illustration of this approach. 

Perceived and Represented "Types" 
The search for "types" in descriptions of people was 
the primary scientific mode of assessing racial and eth- 
nic characteristics in the late 1 9th century. Amassing 
physical anthropology data in the form of skeletal ma- 
terial, casts, measurements, and photographs provided 

1 1 


crucial evidence for the racial component of Boas' tri- 
adic model of race, language, and culture. Yet much of 
the physical anthropology data collected on the Jesup 
Expedition, including Boas' voluminous anthropomet- 
ric records, remained unanalyzed for more than 80 years 
(see Ousley and Jantz, this volume).^ 

Early in his career. Boas had been concerned with 
the effect of the observer's perceptual bias on typol- 
ogy and classification. His physics thesis at the Univer- 
sity of Kiel, completed in the early 1 880s, dealt with 
the role of perception in determining variations in the 
color of seawater. Ranging widely across the German 
division of scholarly disciplines in his studies, the young 
Boas evinced a keen interest in methodology, initially 
proposing a thesis on the problem of random errors in 
scientific investigations. When this topic was rejected 
by the faculty at Kiel, he took up the assigned prob- 
lem of seawater with little enthusiasm, encountering 
great difficulty in accurately recreating minute natural 
differences under laboratory conditions (Cole 1 999:38- 
62). In a sense, his efforts showed that scientific errors 
were not merely random but were often induced by 
the artificial character of the scientific setting or by 
unrefined laboratory methods of reconstructing real- 
world conditions. The notion that the bias of the ob- 
server was among the most prominent and determin- 
istic of these effects would later profoundly influence 
Boas' construction of cultural relativism in his seminal 
1 889 essay "On Alternating Sounds." 

A strikingly similar orientation is reflected in the 
discussion of the distribution of colored sticks in his 
1 922 article "The Measurement of Differences between 
Variable Quantities." In the human sciences, however, 
the basic framework of classifying data into morpho- 
logical types was immensely complicated by the par- 
ticular historical and environmental variables of human 
migration and intercourse. From the time Boas resigned 
from the ANMH in 1905 until his death in 1942, he 
gradually tempered his insistence on the quest for 
universals of human behavior and fixed racial catego- 
ries in favor of a historical method that placed local 


conditions above universal or evolutionary stages of 
social development (Stocking 1 974:1 2-1 5). In contrast 
to the magisterial certainties of structural functional- 
ism and the rigid hierarchies of social-evolutionary 
theory, Boasian anthropology developed in a more re- 
flexive mode. As with seawater or colored sticks, the 
perception and classification of human subjects de- 
pended on the point of view of the observer. This 
counter-social evolutionary position was manifest not 
only in Boas' physical anthropology but also in his study 
of representation in cultural artifacts. 

For Boas, mere visual qualities could be danger- 
ously misleading if taken as guides to understanding 
the meaning of cultural objects or physical evidence. 
When comparing objects of similar form collected from 
neighboring tribes, he repeatedly cautioned that their 
true significance could be found only in the context of 
their originating cultures. Usage and lore, not external 
similarities of form, were the keys to comparison and 
classification. The method of museum display he 
developed between 1886 and 1905 depended on 
narrative scenes depicting the life of particular cultural 
groups more than on grouping visually similar artifacts 
from disparate regions together in exhibit cases. ^ 

Boas' cautious analytical attitude toward the ex- 
traction of meaning from form was central to his vision 
of museum display. He concluded a 1904 brochure 
for AMNH visitors by noting that objects with the same 
form carried different meanings for different Indian 
tribes. "This seems to indicate," he wrote, "that the 
interpretation may also be adapted to the design, or . 
. . an idea has been 'read into' the design" (Boas [1 904] 
1 995:1 87). A comparable process of "reading in" takes 
place when looking at archival photographs. Just as 
an object's meaning depends on its cultural context, a 
photograph's meaning depends on its original setting, 
its subsequent place in a museum or a publication, 
any accompanying text, and the biases of a viewer's 
own culture and historical worldview. 

Boas retained a basic distrust of the photograph, 
with its single point of view, lack of perspective, 

1 1 1 

narrow bracketing of space, and freezing of a single 
instant. He considered the scientific value of physical- 
type images to be limited by the perspectival distor- 
tion inherent in two-dimensional representation Gacknis 
1 984). Characteristically, his solution to the limits of 
graphic representation was to gather as much evidence 
of as many types as possible. The visual medium was 
valued for the degree of completeness it could add to 
a body of textual or numerical information and to 
associated collections, as well as for guidance in con- 
structing museum exhibits. 

Photographic images were to be a supplementary 
form of data. The huge corpus of physical-type photo- 
graphs, for example, was intended primarily to illus- 
trate cranial and body measurements taken in the field. 
Skulls and bones were determined to be the most 
valuable evidence, followed by casts, measurements, 
verbal descriptions, and photographs. Physiognomic 
resemblances as shown by the camera were surface 
appearances which, though not analogous to simple 
racial stereotypes, were nonetheless data to be ap- 
plied to racial formulae in determining the physical types 
of individuals and populations. But in human society, 
classification had to account for highly complex histo- 
ries over vast areas of distribution. Although they origi- 
nated in a search for typology. Boas' considerations of 
race moved him instead toward historical particular- 
ism. His insistence on local differentiation stood in con- 
trast to the prevailing evolutionary models of culture. 
Boas believed that truly scientific explanations could 
only be based on an immense corpus of detailed eth- 
nographic data. One of the chief aims of the Boasian 
method during the Jesup Expedition period was, there- 
fore, the extrapolation of general laws, which he still 
thought possible, from a preponderance of facts. 

Exchanging Vision 

Photography is in some regards ill suited to the project 
of idealizing types for classification. Disinterestedly 
recording every visible quirk and flaw, the camera tends 
to favor the details of specific corporeal realities over 

idealized conceptual forms. This is why medical and 
biological journals, for purposes of idealization and 
classification, often prefer drawings instead of photo- 
graphs as anatomical illustrations. Whereas an artist 
can depict a model of an organism in diagram or cross- 
section, showing all the features deemed distinctive 
and characteristic of its species, the camera can only 
depict the unique individual specimen. 

The statistical profile of North Pacific peoples sought 
by the anthropologists was to be based on a com- 
posite of individual features.^ In a circular establishing 
its guidelines for photographic portraits, the Ethno- 
logical Survey of Canada of the BAAS, Boas' employer 
on the Northwest Coast, instructed its investigators 

facial characteristics are conveniently recorded 
by means of photographs" taken in the follow- 
ing ways: 

(a) A few portraits of such persons as may, in 
the opinion of the person who sends them, 
best convey the peculiar characteristics of the 
race . . . 

(b) At least twelve portraits of the left side of 
the face of as many different adults of the same 
sex. ... If the incidence of the light be not the 
same in all cases they cannot be used to make 
composite portraits. . . . The distance of the 
sitter from the camera can be adjusted with 
much precision by fixing a looking glass in the 
wail (say five feet from his chair), so that he 
can see the reflection of his face in it.' 

The exchange of vision between photographer and 
subject mediates the act of photography. 

The image of Harlan Smith and his camera reflected 
in Kwazi'nik's eyes is a visible manifestation of what 
takes place every time a subject looks at a camera. 
The seeing eye and the camera lens reflect one an- 
other; each is mirrored in the other (Fig. 25). 

That exchange of vision in which another's point 
of view gets captured is illustrated metaphorically 
in a Thompson River tale, "Coyote Juggles with His 
Eyes," collected by James Teit. The mythic trickster- 
hero Coyote loses his sight only to steal someone 

1 1 2 


26/ The photographer's figure (Harlan I. Smith), his camera, and tripod reflected in the eye of Kwazi'nik 
(from AMNH 1 1661) 

1 1 3 


27/ Typical "physical type" photographs from 
the Jesup Expedition databank of physical (ra- 
cial) characteristics (front, side, and three-quar- 
ter views). F. Nehulin, young Chuvan 
(Chuvantzy) woman from Markovo (?), 1 900 
(AMNH 1409, 1410, 141 1). 

1 1 5 

- ^ 

28/ First of a two-photo sequence photographs depicting the Kwakwaka'wakw (KwakiutI) potlatch at Fort 
Rupert, British Columbia. Harlan I. Smith, phtographer, 1 897 (AMNH 42968) 


29/ Second photo of the same potlatch ceremony at Fort Rupert. Blankets piled on beach, with a speaker in 
the middle (AMNH 42967) 

1 1 7 

30/ Sketches with facial paintings of the Niaka'pamux (Thompson) Indians. Reprinted from Bureau of Ameri- 
can Ethnology, 45'^ Annual Report, 1 930 (Plate 7) 

32/ Yukagir shaman in full costume, with his sha- 

man drum and drumstick, photographed for a man- 
nequin-style museum display (AMNH 1 835) 

33/ Yukagir shaman in full costume photographed for 
a mannequin-style museum display (AMNH 1 834) 

1 1 9 

34/ A grave marker in the form of a carved wooden "copper," Fort Rupert, British Columbia. Harlan I. Smith, 
photographer,! 897 (AMNH 41 1 809) 

1 20 

35/ Native woman in traditional deerskin clothing (probably borrowed for photo session), with a little 
girl in a gingham dress. Harlan I. Smith, photographer,! 897 (AMNH 1 1 682) 


37/ Emma Simon, a NIaka'pamux (Thompson Indian) woman posing for a staged life- 
scene photo to illustrate traditional practice of deer-hide tanning (AMNH 42930). 

39/ Miniature diorama of the IVIaritime Koryak winter settlement, American IVluseum, Hall of Asian Peoples 
(AMNH 1 8237). The actions and poses of the human figurines are precisely based on Jochelson's photographs 
from the Jesup Expedition, including the the two facing photographs. 

1 24 

40/ Koryak hunters dragging killed white whale on sledge, springl 901 (AMNH 1 423) 

4 1 / Koryak men posing for a "dog-offering"' ceremony (AMNH 1519) 


A Z 1 •\ S 

42/ Chief Petit Louis (HIi Kleh Kan) of the Kamloops Indian Band, Secwepemc (Shuswap) nation, holding a 
child (AMNH 42745). 

1 26 

43/ Haida painting, possibly by Charles Edenshaw, representing a bear. The painting 
illustrates the method of split representation whereby different viewpoints of an animal, 
front and sides, are shown on a single plane. It also shows how the parts of the animal 
closely identified with a bear, the ears and claws, are used as a symbolic representation 
of the creature. Published in: Franz Boas. The Decorative Art of the Indians of the North 
Pacific Cofl5t.l897,p.l27(AMNH24537) 


44/ Yupik (Siberian Eskimo) man from the village of Ungazik (Indian Point, Chaplino) Chukotka, Siberia, 1 901 
(AMNH 2438, 2437, 2439) 

1 28 

Continuing his travels, he came to a place 
where he saw Blue-Grouse throwing his eyes 
up in the air and catching them. Coyote said 
to himself, "I can also perform that feat," so 
he pulled out his eyes and threw them up in 
the air; but Raven caught them and flew 
away with them, so Coyote was left without 
eyes and unable to see. He went groping 
about, and, coming to a patch of kinnikinnik 
or bearberries, he selected two of the berries, 
and put them in his eye-sockets as substi- 
tutes for eyes. He was then able to see a 
little, but only very dimly. Continuing on his 
journey, he came to the outskirts of a village 
where some boys were playing. One boy 
who was near him called him "red-eyes" and 
other sarcastic names. Coyote said, "Al- 
though my eyes are red, I can see as well as 
you can. I can see the Pleiades (nxa'us)." The 
boy laughed and said, "How can you see the 
Pleiades? It is just noon. I know now for a 
certainty that you cannot see with your red 
eyes." Then Coyote seized the boy, and, 
taking out his eyes, put them in his own 
head, and, putting his bearberry eyes in the 
boy's head, he turned him into a bird called 
tceia'uin. (Teit 1912:212) 

In the face paintings reproduced on templates in 
the jesup archives and publications, the eyes are 
explained as a site of symbolic visualizations and 
extraordinary powers of vision. Figure 30 shows a 
Thompson Indian motif whose meaning was not 
certain but, according to Teit, 

is said to be connected with sight or the 
expectation to see. Some say the circles 
represent the eyes and the lines are symbolic 
of woodworms or strength, and the whole 
may be a prayer for strength of the eyes. The 
person using this painting may have wanted 
his powers of vision increased so that he 
might see supernatural beings, or he may 
have wanted sore eyes to be made well. 
(Teit 1930:424-5)" 

Boas collected a large number of face-painting de- 
signs from the great Haida artist Charles Edenshaw, 
and three-dimensional miniature cast representations 
of George Hunt's face serve as templates for a large 
collection of face-painting motifs. In his Facial Paint- 
ings of the Indians of Northern British Columbia^ 898), 
Boas used face paintings to exemplify the problem of 
mapping designs not only from three dimensions to 

two but also simultaneously from a variegated and 
changing surface to a static representation. In this 
essay Boas at once classifies the designs from most 
realistic to most abstract and describes the Indians' 

peculiar method of adapting the animal form 
to the decorative field. There is no endeavor 
to represent the form by means of perspec- 
tive, but the attempt is made to adapt the 
form as nearly as possible to the decorative 
field by means of distortion and dissection. . 
. . if I could obtain a series of representations 
on very difficult surfaces, the principles of 
conventionalism would appear most clearly. 
No surface seems to be more difficult to 
treat and to adapt to animal forms, than the 
human face. For this reason I resolved to 
make a collection of facial paintings such as 
are used by the Indians when adorning 
themselves for festive dances. (Boasl 898:1 3) 

Visualizing Cultures 

Like museum collecting and anthropology itself, pho- 
tography both records and represents. As a medium 
of record, photography documents the visual, produc- 
ing a permanent image of a subject's physical charac- 
teristics from a fixed and framed optical perspective 
at a single instant. Within the constraints of the me- 
dium, photography can accurately depict a person's 
face, an environmental setting, or the detailed surface 
of an object. But as a representation, the meaning of a 
photograph is mutable and depends on many factors. 
The context from which the image sprang fades away, 
while the context in which it will be viewed changes 
continuously over time. The anthropological photo- 
graph presents a deliberate image of the traditional 
past, recording a unique moment of contact between 
science and its object. Subsequent interpretations are 
attempts to read meaning and context back into these 
isolated visual fragments. 

The jochelsons, while acquiring shamans' coats, 
hats, and drums in Siberia, photographed some of the 
costumes being worn in the field. The poses suggest 
that the pictures were meant to serve as models for 
museum mannequins on which the costumes would 
be displayed. One effect of such comprehensive 


1 29 

collecting of objects was the self-fulfillment of the 
anthropological prophecy that theethnographers were 
witnessing a last performance, since by acquiring 
these artifacts they were removing them from the 
sphere of the living culture. Meant to demonstrate 
processes for purposes of study and display, these 
photographs also documented the transfer of the sha- 
mans' ritual garb to the museum. The photographic 
ritual marked the desacralization of powerful shamanic 
vestments as they were transformed into inert museum 
objects (Figs. 31-33). 

In collecting artifacts and creating ethnographic 
images for the museum, the members of the Jesup Ex- 
pedition sought out symbols of traditional culture that 
could represent the past in idealized museum displays. 
Individual signs of colonialism and acculturation were 
frequently left out of the collection. Harlan Smith wrote 
to Boas from Eburne, British Columbia: 

I tried to get the big wooden drum cheaper. . 
. . They had two but one showed white 
contact. It would have interested me as 
showing contact but I thought Museum 
would prefer the old style and would not 
care to see how white men's pipes and hats 
are drawn by Indian artists. . . . (Smith to 
Boas, 17 May 1898, AMNH) 

Although the anthropologists often strove to avoid 
documenting obvious signs of modernity, they none- 
theless collected many signs of intermingling cultures. 
Boasian techniques of dramatizing precolonial tradi- 
tions were more difficult and less relevant in settle- 
ments where Russians, English, Canadians, or Ameri- 
cans had lived for centuries than they were among 
nomadic hunter-gatherers on the tundra (Laurel Kendall, 
personal communication, 1996). Some photographs, 
like a wooden "copper" grave marker in British Colum- 
bia, clearly show a combination of traditional culture 
and western influence (Fig. 34). In Siberia, many signs 
of Russian influence are visible in photographs taken in 
and around Yakutsk, imperial headquarters for the col- 
lection of /flsfl/c (fur tribute) for more than 250 years. 
In heavily Russianized areas such as Yakutsk and 

1 30 

Markovo, Bogoras and Jochelson focused on accul- 
turation and collected many objects from groups that 
they considered ethnically mixed, such as Chuvantsy 
[Chuvan] and so-called Russianized Natives. 

Representing the Past 

James Teit amassed a large collection of semiobsolete 
traditional Indian costumes that many local photogra- 
phers borrowed for photo sessions throughout the 
Nicola Valley region (Wickwire 1993; Fig. 35). Harlan 
Smith, working with Boas, besides acquiring tools for 
the collection was able to arrange photographic scenes 
of a Secwepemc [Shuswap] woman stretching deer 
hide and digging roots (Fig. 36). The scenes were ex- 
pressly composed to serve as the basis for a life group 
representing the Thompson Indians" in the Hall of North 
West Coast Indians that Boas was curating at the AMNH 
(Miller and Mathe 1997:39-40, 100-1; Fig. 37): 

At Kamloops got 1 pestle or hammer-bone 
beater, part of a carved digging stick handle. 
Deer skin, scraper, stone in handle— birch 
bark basket and stone scraper. For these last 
4 I paid $4.00. This seemed high but I 
photoed the woman scraping skin and 
thought you would need a skin and scraper 
for a group showing squaw scraping skin. 
Then I photoed woman digging roots and 
knowing you had a digging stick I only 
bought basket for I thought you had no old 
dirty used baskets and would want one for 
the group so not to take any out of the case 
collection. Teit says $5.00 was cheap for 
them. (Smith to Boas, 27 April 1 898, AMNH) 

These scenes were used as references, along with 
Smith's photos of underground Kikulie houses, for a 
miniature group that has remained on exhibit in the 
Hall of North West Coast Indians and for a large-scale 
"Thompson Indian" [NIaka'pamux and others] life group 
in the same hall (Fig. 38). The life group shows the deer 
skin— considerably smaller than that in the original field 
photograph— and the scraper. The juxtaposition of 
scales and the combination of authentic artifacts with 
fabrications to present a seamless vision inside the 
glass box create a theatrical fantasy of traditional 


culture. The pictorial effect created by the view of old 
costumes, genuine artifacts, architectural motifs, and 
wax physiognomies was, as a critic wrote in another 
context, "neither genuine nor spurious, but illusory and 
fantastic."' 3 

When comparing the life group with the photo- 
graphs on which it was based, the most obvious dif- 
ference, besides the altered scale, is that the woman 
photographed by Smith was wearing western-style 
clothing, while the mannequin is in traditional dress. 
At about the same time, Charles Hill-Tout observed 
that "the old-time clothing has gone entirely out of 
use, with the exception of the moccasin, which is still 
almost exclusively worn by the old people of both 
sexes" (Hill-Tout 1978:51). In a guide to the North West 
Coast Hall, Boas noted that Interior Salish Indians no 
longer wore deerskin. Other cases representing the 
Thompson Indians in the hall also show and describe 
the older traditional clothing of the NIaka'pamux and 
their neighbors. One hundred years later, anthropolo- 
gist Marianne Boelscher Ignace was able to identify 
the individuals in Harlan Smith's photographs as Sec- 
wepemc tanner Emma Basil Simon when Simon's nieces, 
Christine and Florence Simon of Skeetchestn, British 
Columbia, recognized their aunt as the figure in the 
photos. The image itself has attained iconic stature as 
a symbol of traditional Interior Salish cultures and has 
been widely reproduced— for example, as a large 
anonymous mural in the Royal British Columbia Mu- 
seum in Victoria, the provincial capital. 

As guest curators of the AMNH's 1 997 Jesup Ex- 
pedition centenary exhibition. Drawing Shadows to 
Stone: Photographing North Pacific Peoples, 1897- 
1902, we were fortunate to be able to name Emma 
Simon and her family as the individuals behind the im- 
ages. With the kind permission of the Skeetchestn Band, 
we were also allowed to include Marianne Ignace's 
own contemporary photographs documenting Nellie 
Taylor— ^a Secwepemc elder who passed away in 
1 997— demonstrating the same art of hide tanning, 
which has endured to this day. The tanning process 

has become a symbol of the strength and indepen- 
dence of Interior Salish women, who have sustained 
the art despite its suppression in government mission- 
ary schools in Nellie Taylor's youth. Harlan Smith's Jesup 
Expedition photographs of Emma Simon, placed side 
by side with the Boasian life group and Ignace's mod- 
ern pictures of Nellie Taylor, visually demonstrated for 
today's museum visitors the perseverance of the very 
traditions that Boas and his peers had feared were dy- 
ing out. 

Exchanging Images 

The indexical authority of a photograph as historical 
fact normally seeks to assert itself over the mutable 
iconic meaning of the picture (Barthes 1 977; Sontag 
1 977). To a certain degree, this equation is reversed in 
the artifice of museum representation, where patently 
constructed images stand as models of culture. In "The 
Museum as a Way of Seeing," Svetlana Alpers (1 991) 
maintains that a museum can transform anything con- 
tained within its walls into an art object. By virtue of 
its selection for inclusion in the museum, an object 
takes on a symbolic mantle, signifying a meaning be- 
yond itself. The investiture of artifacts with ethnographic 
or historical significance manifests itself as a visual trope, 
spotlit in isolation and displayed on a pedestal vitrine. 
The individual object comes to represent an idealized 

The dramatic reconstruction of precontact life is 
typical of the museum models based on photographs 
from the jesup Expedition. The museum, as a stage for 
the objects claimed by salvage anthropology, recon- 
structed their contexts within the visual trope of dis- 
play. The efficacy of images for purposes of illustration 
and representation was largely independent of how 
the images were obtained. Although Koryak people in 
the remote coastal village of Kamenskoye were reluc- 
tant to submit to many aspects of the Jochelsons' 
strange anthropological endeavor, they posed for a 
series of photographs of their village and annual 
ritual cycle (Miller and Mathe 1997:35-40). These 


photographs later served as the basis for a detailed 
miniature diorama that is still on display in the Hall of 
Asian Peoples at the AMNH, where it is labeled as a 
representation of Paleolithic life. The composite of pho- 
tographic scenes modeled in the diorama employs a 
surreal juxtaposition of activities and rituals drawn from 
different times in the ritual cycle of the Maritime Koryak, 
creating a distorted, theme park-like view of the 
people's daily lives (Figs. 39, 40, 41 ). 

The process of representation began in the field 
with the imagining of the museum. Photographs of the 
museum were useful in the field for anthropologists 
hoping to acquire collections. To explain their unusual 
requests, the anthropologists showed pictures of the 
AMNH. '5 If suitably impressed, people were some- 
times more willing to provide objects and images for 
the museum's collections. Smith wrote to Boas from 

I have used up all the pictures I have of the 
Museum persuading the Indians here to let 
me have houseposts. I show them that the 
posts are in rain and weather then picture of 
museum & ask them to let us house the 
posts. If you can please have sent to me 3 or 
4 more pictures each of Museum, lecture hall 
and a case hall. (Smith to Boas, 1 9 May 
1898, AMNH) 

Under certain circumstances, such tactics proved 
all the more persuasive for being backed by colonial 
authority, as was the case with Chief Louis (Fig. 42). 
Chief Petit Louis (HIi Kleh Kan) led the Kamloops Indian 
Band from 1855 to 1915, a period of cataclysmic 
changes on the interior plateau. He helped to hold 
together the Secwepemc [Shuswap] nation when 
native cultures were under attack, voicing persistent 
claims to land, sovereignty, and distinct identity. The 
band had already objected to Harlan Smith's taking 
human remains when Boas, moonlighting for the 
crown as an agent of the BAAS, attempted to obtain 
the chief's consent for anthropometric work. He suc- 
ceeded only by invoking the authority of the queen of 
England over the Indians who were legally her royal 
subjects. In a lantern-slide lecture following the first 

1 32 

Jesup Expedition field season. Boas admitted using 
coercive pressure to overcome the Indians' resistance 
to being cast, photographed, and measured: 

I am afraid, that, in trying to coax him to 
submit to the operation, I gave him a rather 
wrong impression in regard to the character 
of our work. ... I told him that the Queen 
desired to see the great chief of the 
Shushwap, and since she was too old to visit 
him, I had been requested to take his portrait 
and bring it to her, and that at the same time 
she had asked me to present him with his 
own bust, which he was to place in his 
house, so that his people might understand 
how important a man he was. This argument 
removed all his objections, and, after he had 
consented, there was of course no difficulty 
in getting just as many men of his tribe as I 
pleased. (Boas 1 897a) 

Boas showed Chief Louis' portrait as an anonymous 
classic Shuswap male physical type in the published 
album of photographs from the jesup North Pacific 
Expedition. Subsequent presentations of the same im- 
age have varied according to different contexts, in- 
cluding a prominent place in the gallery of the 
Secwepemc Cultural Education Society located on 
Kamloopa reserve land and its presentation as an arti- 
fact of historical Interior Salish-European relations in 
the Jesup centenary exhibition Drawing Shadows to 

Boasian Visions 

The logic of Boas' directives to the scientists on the 
Jesup North Pacific Expedition was to document entire 
cultures to the greatest extent possible. His vision of 
anthropology was as a science of inductive method 
whose aim was the description and historical recon- 
struction of entire societies. Representing a whole cul- 
ture by means of fragments vested with iconic signifi- 
cance, the visual ethnographer judged which aspects 
to emphasize and which to omit. The criteria for 
choosing which elements were distinctive features 
of a culture and which were mere acculturations or 
adaptations were ethnographic litmus tests of tradi- 
tion and authenticity as seen by the anthropologist. 


The features chosen by the ethnographer— most of- 
ten, those elements considered to represent precontact 
survivals— were seen as the salient features that could 
symbolize a culture as a whole. 

A comparable method of visual typology is em- 
ployed by artists on the Northwest Coast. The artists 
highlight the symbolic elements that signify an animal's 
totemic character. Boas wrote in 1 897: 

In consequence of the adaptation of the form 
to the decorative field, the native artist cannot 
attempt a realistic representation of his subject, 
but is often compelled to indicate only its main 
characteristics. ... It would be all but impos- 
sible to recognize what animal is meant, if the 
artist did not emphasize what he considers the 
characteristic features of animals. These are so 
essential to his mind that he considers no 
representations adequate in which they are 
missing. ( Boas 1897b:126) 

In his January 1 897 lecture, Boas asserted that for Ameri- 
can Indian artists. 

One of the greatest . . . difficulties is the lack of 
knowledge of the principles of perspective. To 
most primitive people a picture of a solid 
object that shows only one side is incomplete. 
They ask: Where is the rest of the object? . . . 
[B]y the desire to represent all the parts of the 
thing pictured, the artist is led step by step to 
disregard their relations in space. The character- 
istic design is added as a distinctive feature to 
the conventional figure representing a type. . . . 
There is only a short step from this stage to the 
second characteristic stage of primitive art in 
which the realistic picture of the object is 
omitted entirely and only its distinctive symbol 
is represented. (Boas 1 897a) 

In his study of Northwest Coast decorative art follow- 
ing the first jesup Expedition field season. Boas de- 
scribed the Native artist's method of representation: 

I conclude . . . that it is the ideal of the native 
artist to show the whole animal, and that the 
idea of perspective representation is entirely 
foreign to his mind. His representations are 
combinations of symbols of the various parts 
of the body of the animal, arranged in such a 
way that if possible the whole animal is 
brought into view. ( Boas 1897b: 176) 

Nearly two decades later, in 1916, Boas restated and 
elaborated on the concept: 

While in our modern perspective drawing the 
painter tries to give the visual impression of 
the object, showing only what we believe 
we see at any given moment, we find that in 
more primitive forms of art this solution of 
the problem appears unsatisfactory, for the 
reason that the momentary position of the 
object will not exhibit certain features that 
are essential for its recognition. For instance, 
if a person is seen from the back, the eyes, 
the nose, and the mouth are not visible; but 
at the same time we know that the eyes, 
nose, and mouth are essential characteristic 
elements of the human form. This idea is so 
fundamental in the view of most primitive 
people that we find practically in every case 
the endeavor to represent those elements 
that are considered as essential characteris- 
tics of the object to be represented. It is 
obvious that when this is to be done, the 
idea of rendering the momentary impression 
must be given up, because it may not be 
possible to see all these different features at 
the same time. (Boas 1916, 1940:537) 

In his monograph Primitive An, Boas finally admit- 
ted that perspective representation was an option oc- 
casionally employed by "primitive" artists, but he con- 
tinued to stress the aspects of symbolic representa- 
tion in their art (Boas 1 928:78). 

Reasoning that specific techniques of represent- 
ing a three-dimensional form in two dimensions are 
culturally determined. Boas developed a theory of 
graphic representation in his studies of Northwest 
Coast Indian art. He considered the approach and point 
of view of the Northwest Coast artist to be essentially 
different from that of the Euro-American. Whereas the 
western artist's illusionistic perspective showed a sub- 
ject from a single point of view at a specific moment 
in time (much as in a photograph), the Northwest Coast 
artist's rendering could be read as symbolically show- 
ing all the important features of a subject at once, 
without reference to a fixed vantage point. One such 
form has come to be called "split representation": an 
image is divided into two halves splayed down the 
center, with all aspects of the creature front, back, 
top, bottom, and both sides represented at once 
on the same plane (Boas 1 928:22 1-51; Levi-Strauss 
1963; Fig. 43). 



In archives, multiple points of view can be recon- 
structed simultaneously to achieve an effect outside 
the constraints of a fixed vantage point in space and 
time. Although the individual photograph is limited to 
a single perspective, viewing collections of photographs 
allows the construction of symbolic models of cul- 
tures. The multifaceted research collections commis- 
sioned by Jesup and organized by Boas represent cul- 
tures in a manner that recalls the way Northwest Coast 
artists represent animals: as a combination of distinc- 
tive features seen from numerous angles all at once 
(Fig. 44). Artifacts and images sampled from the greater 
cultural whole form an inevitably incomplete record of 
the change over time. As visual archaeology, archival 
collections are the shards and fragments of history and 
cultural memory (Miller and Mathe 1997:29-32; see 
also Blackman 1 981 ; Morris 1 994). The photographer 
represents the scene as he or she has composed 
it, the camera records the reflection of a subject, and 
the viewer reads meaning into the image. As time 
passes, the photograph becomes a memento mori. 

In contrast to the myriad viewpoints approximated 
by the collections in the archives, in designing 
museum exhibits Boas strove for a theatricalized, illu- 
sionistic effect more like that produced by the camera 
in a single photograph. While planning the Hall of North 
West Coast Indians in November 1 896, a few months 
before he embarked on the Jesup Expedition to collect 
objects for the hall, Boas described to Frederic Ward 
Putnam, the chief curator of the AMNH Department of 
Anthropology, his vision for the life-group models: 

It is an avowed object of a large group to 
transport the visitor into foreign surroundings. 
He is to see the whole village and the way the 
people live. ... the larger the group the more it 
is necessary to allow ample space around it so 
that it can be seen from a distance. (Boas to 
Putnam, 7 November 1 896, AMNH) 

Boas conceded that a complete illusion was only 
possible within a panorama building where viewers 
could be surrounded by an image that filled their 
peripheral vision, creating the impression of a scene 

1 34 

without boundaries. But although a full panorama was 
not feasible in the museum hall, he described to Putnam 
how an illusionistic effect might be achieved: 

In order to set off such a group to advantage 
it must be seen from one side only; the view 
must be through a kind of frame which shuts 
out the line where the scene ends; the visitor 
must be in a comparatively dark place, while 
there must be a certain light on the objects 
and on the background. (Boas to Putnam, 7 
November 1896, AMNH; see also Jacknis 

The creation of a pictorial illusion by fixing the view- 
ers' perspective, framing and isolating the scene, and 
focusing light on the object resembles photography 
as a mode of seeing. The museum viewer looks through 
a glass darkly at a bound and boxed image. The life 
groups, mannequins, and miniatures Boas planned for 
the display cases would be based on Jesup Expedition 
photographs that were yet to be taken in the field. 
The life group is presented as a photographic vision, 
while the photograph on which it is based aspired to 
a three-dimensional mode of representation. 


Over the past decade— from the initial invitation in 
1992 to present a study of the Jesup North Pacific 
Expedition photo collection to the American Anthro- 
pological Association's meeting, up to the publication 
of this volume many friends and colleagues have 
helped us with this work and with the Jesup photogra- 
phy project in its various stages. They include Chris 
Abajian, Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, Jackie Beckett, 
Alexia Bloch, Valerie Chaussonet, Craig Chesek, Carmen 
Collazo, Rob Cox, Denis Finnin, William Fitzhugh, Stanley 
Freed, Sarah Granato, Jacob Gruber, Marianne Boelscher 
Ignace, Chief Ron Ignace, Vladimir Kharlampovich 
Ivanov-Unarov, Ira Jacknis, Aldona Jonaitis, Suzi Jones, 
Belinda Kaye, Laurel Kendall, David Koester, Jennifer 
Kramer, Igor Krupnik, Gavril Kurilov, Larry Langham, 
Andrea LaSala, Molly Lee, Stephanie Marlin-Curiel, Tom 
Moritz, Maya Nadkarni, Stephen Ousley, Tuyara 
Pestrakova, Anibal Rodriguez, Enid Schildkrout, John 


Swenson, Michael Taussig, Sigurd Teit, Nikolai Vakhtin, 
Kris Waldherr, Kevin Walker, Elisabeth Ward, Wendy 
Wickwire, C. Y. Wilder, Paula Willey, Laila Williamson, and 
many others. The authors alone are responsible for any 
errors or misjudgments herein. Special thanks go to 
the Arctic Studies Center, National Museum of Natural 
History, Smithsonian Institution; the Departments of 
Anthropology, Library Services, and Exhibition, Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History; the American Philo- 
sophical Society Library; the Secwepemc Cultural Edu- 
cation Society; the Nicola Valley Archives; the 
Skeetchestn Band; the Cooks Ferry Band; the Ministry 
of Culture, Sakha Republic, Russian Federation; the 
Anchorage Museum of History and Art; the University 
of Washington Press; the members of the Museum 
Anthropology graduate seminar at Columbia Univer- 
sity; and the Robert Goldwater Library, Metropolitan 
Museum of Art. 


1 . As a whole, the Jesup North Pacific Expe- 
dition produced far fewer images of the Pacific 
Northwest than of Siberia. The collections from 
both sides of the North Pacific contain fewer eth- 
nographic images than physical types, especially 
from the North American side. The smaller num- 
ber of such scenes may be partly attributable to 
the availability of earlier photographs from the 
Northwest Coast, including those from Boas' pre- 
vious trips to the area. 

2. In keeping with the anthropological fash- 
ion of the time, some parts of the collection are 
only sparsely annotated. Poor, post facto, or miss- 
ing notations on objects and images are not un- 
usual. The assemblage of photographs, artifacts, 
texts, sound recordings, and memoirs is full of 
cross-references, some documented but many un- 
documented. The montage effect of the succes- 
sion of fragmentary images reconstituted as parts 
of the archival whole reveals the carefully con- 
structed character of Boasian museum collections. 
See also Willey, this volume. 

3. Harlan Smith was acutely aware of the uses 
of cross-referenced image materials as supple- 
ments to the collected artifacts and fieldwork of 


all the team members. In a letter to Boas sent from 
Nimpkish River, British Columbia, he scrawled a 
note across the top reading, "please save these 
letters as a portion of my field note" (AMNH). The 
letter, describing his methodology at that particu- 
lar site, was annotated with illustrations of a shell 
heap and sketches of his archaeological finds. On 
June 22, 1898, Smith wrote to Boas from Fort 
Rupert, "I take a sample of every foot from a sec- 
tion that is I have chosen two places at this heap, 
photoed a section at each taken a handful of shell 
soil etc. from each layer of each of these sections" 
(AMNH). See also Smith 1903. 

4. As Ira Jacknis (1984:10) has noted, while 
Hastings may have snapped the shutter, Boas "was 
always by his side, directing his work, choosing 
subjects and maybe even camera angles." 

5. See Krupnik 1993. Because of sharp de- 
clines in population combined with seasonal mi- 
gration, Bogoras and jochelson encountered fewer 
natives than they had hoped, but every nomadic 
Yukagir and Tungus they met was "held, measured, 
photographed and questioned" (jochelson to Boas, 
17 July [4 July, old style] 1902, AMNH). 

6. On physical-type methodology in turn-of- 
the-century anthropology, see also Miller, in press. 

7. On Boas' views about museum display and 
his criticism of contemporary methods, see Boas 
1887; Jacknis 1985; Stocking 1994. 

8. In 1 885 John S. Billings had assembled ac- 
tual composite photographs of skulls in order to 
compare cranial profiles, using a technique devised 
by Francis Calton in the late 1870s. See Spencer 

9. Source document published on Early 
Canadiana Online Website. 

1 0. One of the most marked differences noted 
by Boas as distinguishing the coastal North Pa- 
cific culture area from that of the interior of North 
America was the animal identity of the mytho- 
logical trickster-hero figure in collected traditional 
tales. The role is played by Raven from Kamchatka 
and Chukotka eastward across the Pacific Ocean 
and the Bering Sea as far as Vancouver Island and 
the Olympic Peninsula. On the North American in- 
terior plateau east of the Pacific Coast mountain 
ranges, the principal trickster character is Coyote, 
with Raven taking a supporting role. 

1 1 . Loss of vision was of special concern to 

1 35 

Teit, who frequently and apologetically com- 
plained in his letters to Boas (housed at the Ameri- 
can Philosophical Society, APS) that his own pro- 
ductivity was hampered by a painful eye condi- 
tion and failing eyesight. 

12. The Sakha [Yakut], a Turkic-speaking 
people, originally migrated from the southwest 
to northeastern Siberia and settled around 
Yakutsk. Although technically not classified as a 
North Pacific group, they were included in the 
Jesup research program principally because 
Jochelson, as a former exile, had excellent con- 
tacts in Yakutia and could provide the museum 
with a unique opportunity to collect anthropo- 
logical material. Although the Yakut had them- 
selves absorbed cultural elements from smaller 
neighboring groups as well as from Russians and 
Cossacks, they remained culturally dominant over 
smaller groups in Yakutia. Jochelson's observations 
led him to characterize some Tungus and others 
as "Yakutized" subgroups. 

1 3. The quotation is from "Loitering through 
the Paris Exposition," Atlantic Monthly, March 
1890, most likely written by Thomas Bailey 
Aldrich; "in the Rue de Caire . . . minarets, 
moucharabies, Saracenic roofs, horseshoe arches, 
and fretted lattices, under a strip of dark blue sky, 
overhung booths in which a brilliant confusion of 
Eastern colors, shapes, fabrics, physiognomies, 
turbans, fezes, perfumes, and sounds, with the 
more frequent Oriental dress, created a theatrical 
East, neither genuine nor spurious, but illusory and 
fantastic, like the hallucinations of anodynes" (p. 
364). World's fairs and expositions of the era were 
in fact the venues for which many of the 
Smithsonian Institution's early life groups were 
originally created. 

1 4. In his main publication on the Thompson 
Indians for the Jesup series, James Teit noted of 
the Lower Thompsons and Upper Fraser Band that 
"intercourse with the Hudson Bay Company affected 
the dress of the tribe, especially of the upper divi- 
sion. Skins, etc. were often exchanged for Hudson 
Bay pantaloons and coats, colored handkerchiefs 
and sashes, red blankets, red or blue cloth, col- 
ored ribbons, beads, etc., so that ... all these 
articles were in common use among the tribe" (Teit 
1900:220). On traditional NIaka'pamux [Thomp- 
son] clothing and symbolism, see Tepper 1994. 

15. See Miller 1999 on resistance to pho- 
tography and object collecting in Siberia. 

16. For details about the AMNH's traveling 
exhibition marking the Jesup centenary, Drawing 
Shadows to Stone: Photographing North Pacific 
Peoples, 1897-1902 (Thomas R. Miller and Bar- 
bara Mathe, guest curators; Laurel Kendall, project 
director), see Lee 1998. 

Alpers, Svetlana 

1 991 . The Museum as a Way of Seeing. In Exhibiting 
Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Display. Ivan Karp 
and Steven D. Lavine, eds. Pp. 25-32. Washington, 
DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 

Barthes, Roland 

1 977 Image, Music, Text. New York: Hill and Wang. 
Blackman, Margaret B. 

1981 Window on the Past: The Photographic 
Ethnohistory of the Northern and Kaigani Haida. Na- 
tional Museum of Man Mercury Series, Canadian Eth- 
nology Service Paper 74. Ottawa: National Muse- 
ums of Canada. 

Boas, Franz 

1 887 Museums of Ethnology and Their Classification. 
Science 9(228-9):587-9, 612-4. 

1889 On Alternating Sounds. American Anthropolo- 
gist 2:47-53. 

1 897a The Art of the North American Indian. Lecture. 
January 1 6. Columbia College and American Museum 
of Natural History. Archived at American Philosophi- 
cal Society, Philadelphia. 

1 897b The Decorative Art of the Indians of the North 
Pacific Coast. Bulletin of the American Museum of 
A/flrwra/H/sfo/y9:l 23-76. Washington, DC. Reprinted 
in Boas 1995:58-106. 

1 898 Facial Paintings of the Indians of Northern British 
Columbia. The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , 
pt. 1 , pp. 1 3-24. Memoirs of the American Museum 
of Natural History, 2. New York. 

[1 904] Guide to the North West Coast Hall. American 
Museum of Natural History pamphlet. New York. 

1916 Representative Art of Primitive Peoples. In Holmes 
Anniversary Volume: Anthropological Essays Pre- 
sented to William Henry Holmes in Honor of His 70th 
Birthday. Pp. 18-23. Washington, DC: Bryan Press. 
Reprinted in Boas 1940:535-40. 

1 928 Primitive Art. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univer- 
sity Press. 

1940 Race, Language and Culture. New York: 
Macmillan. Reprint: Free Press, 1966. 

1 99 5 /A Wealth of Thought: Franz Boas on Native Ameri- 
can Art Aldona Jonaitis, ed. Seattle: University of 
Washington Press; Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre. 

1 36 


Cannizzo, Jean 

1 983 George Hunt and the Invention of KwakiutI Cul- 
ture. Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropol- 
ogy 20(l):44-58. 

Cole, Douglas 

1999 Franz Boas: The Early Years, 1858-1906. 

Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre; Seattle: University 

of Washington Press. 
Edwards, Elizabeth, ed. 

1992 Anthropology and Photography 1860-1920. 
New Haven and London: Yale University Press in as- 
sociation with the Royal Anthropological Institute. 

Fitzhugh, William W., and Aron Crowell, eds. 
1 988 Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and 
Alaska. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 
Gruber, Jacob W. 

1 970 Ethnographic Salvage and the Shaping of Ameri- 
can Anthropohg'^. American AnthropologistVZ:] 89- 

Hill-Tout, Charles 

1 978 The Salish People: The Local Contribution of 
Charles Hill-Tout, vol. 1 . The Thompson and the 
Okanagan. Ralph Maud, ed. Vancouver: Talonbooks. 
Original edition, 1899. 

Jacknis, Ira 

1 984 Franz Boas and Photography. Studies in Visual 
Communication 1 0( 1 ) : 2 -60 . 

1985 Franz Boas and Exhibits: On the Limitations of 
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of Anthropology, 3. Madison: University of Wiscon- 
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Jochelson-Brodsky, Dina L. 

1907 K antropologii zhenschin plemion krainego 
severo-vostoka Sibiri (Contribution to the anthropol- 
ogy of the women of the tribes of northeastern Si- 
beria). Russkii antropologicheskii zhurnal 25(1 ):1- 
87. Moscow. 

Kendall, Laurel 

1 988 Young Laufer on the Amur. In Crossroads of 
Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska. William 
Fitzhugh and Aron Crowell, eds. P. 1 04. Washington, 
DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 

Krupnik, Igor 

1 993 Arctic Adaptations: Native Whalers and Rein- 
deer Herders of Northern Eurasia. Hanover, NH: Uni- 
versity Press of New England. 

Lee, Molly 

1 998 Exhibition review: Drawing Shadows to Stone. 

American Anthropologist 1 00(4, Septem- 

ber):l 005-9. 
Levi-Strauss, Claude 

1963 Split Representation in Art of Asia and North 
America. Structural Anthropology 1:245-68. 

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1890 Atlantic Monthly 65 (389, March):360-74. 
Miller, Thomas Ross 

1999 Mannequins and Spirits: Representation and 
Resistance of Siberian Shamans. Anthropology of 
Consciousness 10(4):69-80. 

In press Seeing Eyes, Reading Bodies: Color, Percep- 
tion and Race in the History of the Human Sciences. 
In Colors 1800/1900/2000: Signs of Ethnic Dif- 
ference. Birgit Tautz, ed. Beitrage zur neueren 
Cermanistik. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 

Miller, Thomas Ross, and Barbara Mathe 

1 997 Drawing Shadows to Stone. In Drawing Shad- 
ows to Stone: The Photography of the Jesup North 
Pacific Expedition, 1897-1902. Laurel Kendall, Bar- 
bara Mathe, and Thomas Ross Miller, eds. Pp. 1 8- 
102. New York: American Museum of Natural His- 
tory; Seattle: University of Washington Press. 

Morris, Rosalind C. 

1 994 New Worlds from Fragments: Film, Ethnogra- 
phy, and the Representation of Northwest Coast Cul- 
tures. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 

Smith, Harlan I. 

1903 Shell-Heaps of the Lower Fraser River, British 
Columbia. The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 2, 
pt. 4, pp. 1 33-91 . Memoirs of the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History, 4. New York. 

Sontag, Susan 

] 977 On Photography. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux. 
Spencer, Frank 

1992 Some Notes on the Attempt to Apply Pho- 
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Half of the Nineteenth Century. In Anthropology 
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ed. P. 105. New Haven and London: Yale Univer- 
sity Press in association with the Royal Anthropo- 
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Stocking, George W., Jr. 

1974 Introduction. In The Shaping of American An- 
thropology, 1883-1911: A Franz Boas Reader. 
George W. Stocking. Jr., ed. New York: Basic Books 

1994 Dogmatism, Pragmatism, Essentialism, Relativ- 
ism: The Boas/Mason Museum Debate Revisited. 
History of Anthropology Newsletter 21(1). 

Stocking, George W., Jr., ed. 

1985 Objects and Others: Essays on Museums and 
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Teit, James Alexander 

1 900 The Thompson Indians of British Columbia. The 
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 4, pp. 1 63- 
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1 37 

41 6. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natu- 
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1 930 The Salishan Tribes of the Western Plateau. In 
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Tepper, Leslie H. 

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1 38 


I^arian 1, ^mith^s Jesup ["leldwork 
on the iNjorthwest (^oast 


In three consecutive field trips to British Columbia and 
Washington State between 1 897 and 1 899, Harlan 
Ingersoll Smith worked as the leading archaeologist 
forthejesup North Pacific Expedition, under the direc- 
tion of Franz Boas of the American Museum of Natural 
History (AMNH). Smith's contributions to the Jesup 
Expedition left an important published legacy for the 
archaeology of the North Pacific Coast.' These pub- 
lished works are well known to the archaeologists 
whose careers followed Smith and, to some degree, 
defined much of the next 75 years of research (Ames 
1 994; Matson and Coupland 1 995; Moss and Eriandson 
1 995). Research excavations have often been under- 
taken at places Smith documented in his published 
site maps (Smith 1907:303; Smith and Fowke 1901). 

During and after the Jesup Expedition, Boas inter- 
preted Smith's archaeological results as being 
suggestive of the historical relationship between 
culture groups of the North American Pacific Coast. 
Although these archaeological interpretations of North- 
west Coast prehistory have long since been super- 
seded. Smith's work continues to be a resource for 
what it has to say about the material culture of the 
communities in which he worked. In addition to Smith's 
published work on the Jesup Expedition, he left an 
archival legacy of correspondence, photographs, and 
physical and ethnological collections. This important 
body of little-known work provides insight into the 
dynamics of scholarship and research operating around 
Franz Boas and the Jesup Expedition. 

Smith's Jesup work is a highly interesting and rel- 
evant tale about the relationships between archaeolo- 
gists, anthropologists, and the people they study. Unlike 
Boas' important local collaborators— for example, 
James Teit and George Hunt— Smith had no knack for 
picking up Native languages nor any personal, long- 
term connections with community members. 

In 1 897, Smith was merely 25, only six years into 
his professional career. He was prevented from com- 
pleting his master's degree by the collapse of his father's 
business. Insecurity about his finances and his position 
accompanied him throughout his Jesup work and was 
at first manifested in what Boas characterized as a 
cautious manner. With his marriage, and with some 
Job security promised in his second field season. Smith 
acted more boldly, sometimes against his own better 
Judgment, to secure material for the Jesup Expedition. 

Smith's worries over the security of his post at the 
AMNH at times put him at odds with Boas' research 
methodology. Smith was eager to excavate at sites 
that would yield quantities of artifacts and human re- 
mains so that he could please the benefactors of the 
museum with his collections. He was loath to spend 
much time in regions that he felt would not produce 
many artifacts and was reluctant to leave areas that 
he found productive. Boas, on the contrary, frequently 
urged Smith to expand his investigations to cover the 
entire region so that a broad picture of the archaeol- 
ogy could be obtained. Specific research questions 
being asked today may be different, but many of the 

1 39 

issues and situations faced by Smith 100 years ago 
have repercussions for anthropological and archaeo- 
logical fieldworkers of the present. The following ac- 
count of Smith's work demonstrates the dilemmas of 
rapport between himself and the community mem- 
bers he worked with and between himself and his pro- 
fessional colleagues (see also Thom 2000). 

Smith's and Boas' correspondence has been kept 
relatively intact in the accession records of the AMNH, 
and additional notes made by Smith on photographs 
record information that supplements his correspon- 
dence.'^ Unfortunately, Smith's field notes cannot be 
found in the AMNH archives or in the archives of the 
Canadian Museum of Civilization, where he spent the 
latter half of his career. The references Smith makes to 
the notes in a number of his letters indicate that they 
would have contained a great deal of detail about his 
investigations and his interactions with Native com- 
munities. The archivist at the AMNH has suggested 
that the notes were probably destroyed once the re- 
sults of Smith's work had been published (Belinda Kaye, 
personal communication, September 1 995), and indeed. 
Smith's published works relating to the Jesup Expedi- 
tion are the other main source of information on his 
investigations. Although these articles are generally 
very descriptive of his archaeological investigations, 
they tell only a small part of the story of his work and 
almost nothing of the ethnographic work he did 
recording information on contemporary Native com- 
munities. Only by putting all these pieces together can 
we examine the difficulties and controversies experi- 
enced by Smith during visits to Native communities in 
British Columbia for the Jesup Expedition. 

Smith's Early Life 

Harlan I. Smith was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1 872. 
He attended public school and received his bachelor 
of arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1 893. 
Between 1891 and 1895 he had several jobs; curato- 
rial assistant at the Peabody Museum, Harvard Univer- 
sity; assistant to the Department of Anthropology for 

1 40 

the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago; curator 
of anthropological collections at the University of Michi- 
gan museum; and researcher in Michigan for the Ar- 
chaeological Institute of America {Who Was Who in 
America 1 942:1 1 42). Although he wished to continue 
his formal education, when the familybusiness suddenly 
folded he could not afford to return for his master's 
degree (Smith to Boas, 17 September 1897, AMNH). 
In 1895 Smith was hired by the AMNH as assistant 
curator of the archaeology collections; his initial task 
was to coordinate research at the Fox Farm site in 
Kentucky (Wintemberg 1 940). When Boas began plan- 
ning the Jesup North Pacific Expedition in 1896, he 
always intended to include Smith as the archaeologist 
who would investigate the prehistoric remains of the 
people living on the Northwest Coast of North America. 

In Boas' first published summary of the Jesup Expe- 
dition (Boas 1898:5), he presented his broad ques- 
tions that would serve as a framework for studying 
the historical, physical, and cultural connections be- 
tween the people living in Northeastern Asia and on 
the Northwest Coast of North America. Boas stated 
that although a unique "race" of Native people living in 
North America could be obsen/ed, there were many 
distinct "types" of people within that race, given dif- 
ferences in skin color, form of head and face, and body 
proportion (Boas 1 898:6). He proposed that while this 
variability in "type of man" indicated "long-continued 
development by differentiation" of physical type and 
of cultures, the similarities between these peoples must 
be carefully explained by ethnological, archaeologi- 
cal, and linguistic evidence: 

What relation these tribes bear to each other, 
and particularly what influence the inhabitants 
of one continent may have exerted on those of 
the other, are problems of great magnitude. 
Their solution must be attempted by a careful 
study of the natives of the coast, past and 
present, with the view of discovering so much 
of their history as may be possible. ... By 
following out patiently and in detail the lines of 
interchange of culture, it is possible to trace the 
historical development of the tribes inhabiting 
a definite region. (Boas 1898:6) 


Smith's work would be a key component in un- 

I covering the history of these connections, both through 
the examination of "physical type" represented in skel- 
etons uncovered from graves and through the artifacts 

I that represented the cultures of the people who left 
them behind. In addition, Smith was charged with mak- 

1 ing extensive photographic records of the communi- 
ties he visited and with making plaster cast and pho- 
tographic sets of the "physical types" represented in 

, the North American regions being studied by the Jesup 
Expedition (Boas 1897:537). Although Gerald Fowke 
and Waldemar Jochelson would carry out incidental 
archaeological investigations in Northeast Asia, the 
main Jesup Expedition archaeological research would 
be conducted in North America by Smith. 

Boas set out his priority areas for ethnological and 
linguistic research in those places not already exten- 
sively studied and reported on by other contempo- 
rary scholars. As systematic regional surveys of archaeo- 
logical sites on the Northwest Coast had not yet been 
done. Smith's archaeological research was to be "car- 
ried on in the whole region" (Boas 1903:77). Smith's 
broad focus was intended to provide critical informa- 
tion for Boas' overall scheme of collecting local histo- 
ries and mythologies to understand long-term relation- 
ships between communities. Thus, as shown by the 
map of Smith's work (Fig. 45), Smith worked in many 
of the Native communities studied by other members 
of the JNPE North American contingent. Boas, however, 
also placed particular emphasis on the archaeology of 
the Coast and Interior Salish people living in British Co- 
lumbia and Washington State. This emphasis was in- 
spired by a hypothesis made by Boas in previous work 
on the relationship between Coast and Interior groups. 
Several years before the expedition. Boas had corre- 
sponded with Charles Hill-Tout, a local ethnographer 
and archaeologist. Hill-Tout had found, in the shell 
middens and burial mounds of the lower Eraser River 
delta, skulls that were, he claimed, "significantly differ- 
ent from the 'type' found among people living in these 
areas today" (Hill-Tout to Boas, 1895, in Hill-Tout 

1978:35-40). If there were indeed two "types," such 
evidence was what Boas needed to understand the 
long-term historical "intermixture, linguistic borrowing, 
and exchange of cultural forms" (Boas 1 898:6) between 
Coast and Interior peoples— an important piece of the 
larger picture of the peopling of the North Pacific Rim. 

Smith's Fieldwork, 1897 

In May 1897, at age 25, Harlan I. Smith accompanied 
Boas and Livingston Farrand to the interior of British 
Columbia. Smith's first year of investigation was filled 
with the enthusiasm and insecurities of a young re- 
searcher working under the dynamic Boas. The year 
also brought Smith his first experiences with working 
in Native communities on the Northwest Coast. 

Spences Bridge 

Smith, Boas, and Farrand set out from New York on the 
Northern Pacific Railway, arriving in Spences Bridge on 
June 2, 1 897 (Boas 1 903:78). There they met up with 
James Teit and worked for five days making collec- 
tions from archaeological sites and taking photographs 
and plaster casts of Native people from the Spences 
Bridge area. Teit, a non-Native who had married into 
the NIaka'pamux [Thompson] community, worked with 
Smith in explaining the processes of photography and 
casting to community members, who were otherwise 
reluctant to take part.^ Teit was familiar with the major 
archaeological sites in the area and guided Smith to 
several sites along the banks of the Thompson River, 
where Smith made his first collections. Smith expressed 
his early thoughts and future expectations in a let- 
ter to Marshall Saville, his colleague in the AMNH's 
Archaeology Department: 

I like this region very much. It makes one feel 
like a man; as if one had a right to live and 
be free & equal to his fellow men. It strikes 
me as a bustling region where work is to be 
had by all who really desire to work. The air 
is clear cool & rich & puts new life into a 
fellow. ... I have seen a number of Indians 
and last eve found a village which I had not 
been told of and had a pleasant time looking 



at canoes & talking with natives. ... I very 
much hope to make a big collection and fill 
my notebooks so that next winter I will have 
a good time working up the results with you. 
(Smith to Saville, 3 June 1 897, AMNH) 

Boas, Farrand, and Teit soon went to the Chilcotin 
and Bella Coola regions and left Smith on his own in 
the Thompson River and Fraser River area of British 
Columbia (Boas 1903:81). Smith made moderate ar- 
chaeological collections in the area but did not satisfy 
his initial desire to make a large collection in the vicin- 
ity of Spences Bridge. After about 1 days, he moved 
his work up the Thompson River to Kamloops, where 
he thought more profitable excavations could proceed. 


In Kamloops, Smith met up with Father Jean-Marie 
Raphael Le Jeune, a local minister who had extensive 
knowledge of the Secwepemc [Shuswap] language. 
Boas had already arranged for the expedition to meet 
with Le Jeune and have him help explain to the Sec- 
wepemc people the procedure of making plaster casts 
(Boas to Le Jeune, 1 5 April 1 897, AMNH). After making 
their work clear through Le Jeune, Smith took photo- 
graphs and made casts of seven people from the area." 
Upon completing his work documenting the "physical 
type" of these people, he began archaeological exca- 
vations at the sites on the bank of the Thompson River 
(Smith 1 900d:403-5). He quickly ran into opposition 
as he began to unearth human remains (Figs. 46-47): 

Indians here object to my taking bones 
away— They are friendly & will allow me to 
dig graves & take all but the bones. I have 
seen [Indian] Agent and Indians are on the 
fence. We hope they will change their minds 
& allow bones to go to N.Y. for study not for 
Joke as they fear. (Smith to Boas, 1 8 July 
1897, AMNH) 

Father Le Jeune explained the purpose of Smith's re- 
search to the Secwepemc people in their own lan- 
guage, and Smith received the community's permis- 
sion to proceed. The main concern of the Secwepemc 
had to do with the respect with which their ancestors 
would be treated: 

They, after holding a big council where my 
side was presented by the Priest [Le Jeune] 
telling them I came to get things to use to 
teach to people in N.Y., decided to let me 
have a few bones to teach with, but I must 
cover up all I did not take so as so no bad 
white men would take them to make fun of 
the Indians. (Smith to Saville, 1 1 July 1 897, 

Le Jeune's role in convincing the community of the 
validity of the work, although vital, was not revealed 
in a subsequent publication: 

The Indians do not know to what people 
these burials belong, but they do not like to 
see the bones of what may have been their 
ancestors, disturbed. For this reason the 
chief called a council in which the subject 
was very fully discussed. Finally the confi- 
dence of the people was gained by the help 
of a number of photographs of the museum, 
in which it was shown how the people 
visited the halls in order to see the wonderful 
works of the Indians, and how they were 
instructed, by means of lectures, in regard to 
the meaning of all these objects, and from 
that time on they rather helped than resisted 
any endeavour to obtain collections. (Smith 

Following this meeting. Smith was able to work inten- 
sively through the month of June, making a substantial 
collection of human remains and artifacts from the 
Kamloops area (reported in Smith 1 900d). He sent the 
collections back to New York by train before moving 
on to Lytton, a town at the confluence of the Thomp- 
son and Fraser Rivers. 


Smith camped on the side of the Fraser Canyon near 
Lytton and worked on a number of archaeological sites 
that had been exposed by erosion. He was joined by 
Charles Hill-Tout and a local man, John Oakes. Several 
weeks in July were spent in Lytton collecting from these 
exposed sites and photographing pictograph sites in 
the Stein River valley (AMNH 42818-42823), all of 
which Smith reported on in his first Jesup Expedition 
monograph (Smith 1 899b). Smith used his "little knowl- 
edge of the Chinook language" to get permission to 

1 42 


make archaeological collections and to make contacts 
with people from whom he could collect ethnological 
materials. He photographed two young babies from 
Lytton and the remains of some recently abandoned 
pithouses.5 As he wrote to Saville, he began to make 
substantial collections in a very short period of time: 

Last night we worked until midnight carrying 
to the depot at Lytton (there is no wagon 
road) on our backs the 1 1 boxes of speci- 
mens I secured during the 6 preceding days. 
How is that for one week, eleven boxes? . . . 
This is a glorious country. One feels so well 
he can work hard and not notice it any more 
than play. Saturday I crossed the rapids and 
climbed up a mountain— and got 6 cradles 
and a stone pestle and raw material of which 
pipes are made and with the help of my man 
carried all that load many miles back over 
the river in a boat, washed Vz mile down 
stream by the rapids and in time to carry our 
1 1 boxes of specimens to the depot. At any 
rate I mean to make so big a collection that 
it will be my time to catalogue and arrange it 
or break my leg trying. (Smith to Saville, 1 1 
July 1897, AMNH) 

In the 1 1 boxes Smith packed several skeletons from 
graves that he had photographed (AMNH 42808- 
4281 0, 4281 7). At the end ofjuly he parted with Oakes 
and Hill-Tout and headed north to the Skeena River, 
where he would meet again with Boas. 

North Coast of British Columbia 
Smith went down the Fraser River to Victoria and then 
up the coast by steamer to the Skeena River. He met 
with Boas on August 1 1 . There is, of course, no corre- 
spondence from Smith to Boas from this period, and 
no published reports by Smith. Boas, however, does 
discuss Smith's work on the coast between the Skeena 
River and Fort Rupert in several letters and publica- 
tions (Boas 1903; 1905; Rohner 1969). Smith's cata- 
logue of photographs shows that he spent consider- 
able time with Boas in Prince Rupert photographing 
the artwork of the Haida and Tsimshian people who 
came to town and the people themselves.'' Very few 
of these photographs made it into publications of the 
Jesup Expedition (see Mathe and Miller, this volume). 

Smith then moved down to the village of Bella Bella 
and worked with Farrand for some time, assisting him 
with making casts and photographs of Heiltsuk [Bella 
Bella] people and with taking several views of an old 
house. ^ Boas and George Hunt met Smith and Farrand 
at Bella Bella and moved on shortly thereafter to Fort 
Rupert so that Boas could continue his work with the 
Kwakwaka'wakw [KwakiutI]. During this time. Smith 
was engaged in photographing and making casts of 
people in the communities at Alert Bay and Rivers In- 
let.^ After working during the month of August with 
Boas making casts and taking photographs on the 
North Coast, Smith took his leave from Fort Rupert 
and traveled to Fraser River to continue his archaeo- 
logical research. It is interesting that while with Boas 
on the Northwest Coast, Smith did almost no archae- 
ology, instead assisting Boas with work in physical 
anthropology— a pattern consistent with Boas' personal 
avoidance of field archaeology (Mason 1943:59). 

Marriage and Money 

Boas' correspondence with his family during the time 
he spent with Smith on the North Coast sheds light on 
Smith's enthusiasm for making large archaeological 
collections in other areas of British Columbia. Boas 
wrote to his wife, on Smith's arrival at the Skeena River, 
that Smith had been considering getting married in 
the fall but was concerned about his financial security: 

I have some news for you which will be a 
surprise. The night before last Smith came to 
me and told me that he wanted to do 
something which I would think was very 
stupid. He wants to get married on the way 
back. He thinks he could live with a wife on 
$60 a month. He wanted to know my 
opinion. Still waters run deep! He said he had 
thought over everything carefully and that he 
has been engaged for many years and now 
he wants to get married. I told him what 
difficulties he would have living on such a 
small amount and that his chances for a 
major raise were very slim. I told him I could 
not argue with him, that I could only warn 
him of all the problems he would have, but 
that I was convinced he would do whatever 
he wanted anyway. He asks whether you 


1 43 

think that he could make ends meet . . . 
Maybe that explains to a large extent Smith's 
curious being and his sensitivity. (Rohner 
1969:225-6, and Douglas Cole, 1996) 

Boas' impression of Smith's financial situation 
caused Smith some concern. Smith quickly wrote 
letters to Putnam, the head of the Department of An- 
thropology at the AMNH, and to Winser, the manager 
of accounts, regarding his concerns over finances- 
letters that. Boas told his wife, were most tactless: 

Yesterday I wrote a long letter to Putnam on 
behalf of Smith. Smith wrote him that he 
wants to get married, and Putnam is very 
much worried about it. One cannot give 
Smith advice because he is going to do 
whatever he wants to do. Putnam told me 
about a letter Smith had written to Winser. I 
wish Smith would learn certain things, 
especially to hold his tongue with respect to 
some people. I don't know but I have doubts 
that he will ever amount to anything. His 
education has many gaps, and it will always 
be apparent because he does not have the 
mind to spur him on and help him try to fill 
the gaps. He likes mostly activity which he 
can do with his hands. He is clever and 
resourceful, etc., but where theoretical work 
is involved, he lags behind. His attitude in all 
possible fields is very naive, and frequently 
the questions he asks are unbelievably 
simple. I often tell him to think it over himself 
and then give me the answers to his own 
questions. On the other hand he is such a 
nice fellow that I really feel sorry for him. Well 
maybe he will succeed yet. He is only 
twenty-five years old. But if he really should 
get married with an income of not over $60, 
I don't know what will become of him. 
(Rohner 1969:229) 

The day Smith was to depart, Boas and Smith had 
another discussion. Boas wrote a final note to his wife 
about Smith's situation: 

Yesterday the Princess Louise [a vessel that 
carried passengers up and down the coast of 
Vancouver Island] arrived, and Smith 
promptly made ready and went aboard. Last 
night we had an earnest conversation in 
which I urgently advised him to wait with his 
marriage. I told him he would get more 
money after January, I am almost certain. I 
also told him that I thought it was dangerous 
to get married on $60. I could see that all 
the time he talked with me, he was thinking 
about his letter to Putnam. ... I hope he will 

be good in his future work. I wanted him 
away from here because there was not much 
for him to do, and every day during this 
season counts for his work. (Rohner 
1969:233, and Douglas Cole, 1996) 

Boas' uncertainty about the possibility of Smith and 
his wife living on only $60 a month must have deep- 
ened Smith's anxiety about making large, good-qual- 
ity collections to satisfy the patrons of the AMNH. 
Boas was much less concerned with the size of Smith's 
collections than with getting a broad picture of the 
archaeology of British Columbia and Washington. 
Smith's possible financial insecurity made him want to 
concentrate his excavations in productive areas such 
as the lower Fraser River and distracted him to a cer- 
tain degree from pursuing the broad research agenda 
that Boas had set out for him. 

Port Hammond 

After arriving at the lower Fraser River on September 
2, 1 897, Smith took room and board near the large 
shell heap at Port Hammond. Here he conducted ex- 
tensive excavations until the end of October. Smith's 
work on the lower Fraser River had been preceded by 
the surveys of Charles Hill-Tout, who had investigated 
archaeological remains in the area for several years. 
Hill-Tout had previously sent Boas descriptions of un- 
usual skulls that he had obtained from archaeological 
sites in the lower Fraser River area (Hill-Tout to Boas, 
1 895, in Hill-Toutl 978:35-40). These skulls were long 
and narrow, showing evidence of lateral pressure. They 
were thought by Boas and Hill-Tout to represent the 
remains of an earlier group of people, as the later popu- 
lations on the lower Fraser River had wide heads and 
broad faces, produced by posterior pressure. The prob- 
lem of the age and distribution of this type of skull 
was one of the main questions Smith was supposed 
to address in his investigations. If, indeed, two differ- 
ent "types" of skulls were represented archaeologically 
in the lower Fraser River region. Boas' linguistic hy- 
pothesis of a recent Salish movement into the coast 
area from the interior would be confirmed. 


The findings from Smith's excavations at Port 
Hammond are well described in a number of his publi- 
cations (Smith 1899a:536-9, 1903, 1904c; Smith and 
Fowke 1 901 :60). Smith's archaeological work focused 
on recovering human remains— skulls, in particular— 
and on making collections of the artifacts from the 
shell heap.5 In much of his correspondence with Boas 
about the archaeological work, Smith reported on day- 
to-day finds and his concerns regarding the packing 
of this material and its shipment to New York. During 
these first excavations at a lower Fraser River shell 
midden, Smith noted the similarity between the skulls 
and art found in the shell heap and those of the present- 
day people living on the lower Fraser River (Smith to 
Boas, 1 7 September 1 897, AMNH). He felt that he had 
to excavate deeper to get to the more ancient type of 
people represented by the long, narrow skull collected 
by Hill-Tout (Smith to Boas, 23 September, 3 October, 
5 October 1 897, AMNH). Without these deeper inves- 
tigations in the lower Fraser middens. Boas' hypoth- 
esis could not be adequately tested. 

Excavations in the shell heap at Port Hammond did 
not reveal as many artifacts or skeletal remains as had 
Smith's work in Kamloops and Lytton. At the end of 
his first week of excavation, Smith wrote a number of 
concerned letters to Boas in which he expressed dis- 
appointment at the quantity of finds from the site: 

Got a child below undisturbed shell heap 
today. The skull was not there. Several bone 
implements constitute our day's finds. I shall 
photo a cross section tomorrow. I am a little 
disappointed in results here. The field looks 
very rich from the surface and we may yet 
make a strike. I hope those at N.Y. will not 
expect too much from this place for I fear 
they will be disappointed if they do. (Smith 
to Boas, 7 September 1897, AMNH) 

Boas, now in New York, swiftly replied to Smith, 
again reminding him of the "scientific" objectives of 
the research. On the same day Smith received his let- 
ter, he replied to Boas, "I will try to do the scientific 
work as you desire in the shell mounds and overcome 
my fear of not securing sufficient specimens to please 

the persons at the museum who look for such eagerly" 
(Smith to Boas, 1 5 September 1 897, AMNH). After giv- 
ing the matter further consideration that night. Smith 
wrote a follow-up note to Boas regarding his insecuri- 
ties about his situation: 

I fear you think I act very strangely at times 
and I guess I do. I know I have still a trace of 
the effects of being in father's office during 
the time everything went to the dogs. It 
made me have fear of being able to earn a 
living, fear of being cheated, fear of every- 
thing & everybody which was often without 
the slightest reason and while I could & can 
reason that there is no sense in such fears I 
can not even yet escape them. At times they 
so upset my nerves that I hardly know what I 
do. I never have been able to escape the fear 
of losing my situation. I suppose it is all due 
to seeing everything father had swept away 
and knowing he was a powerful man com- 
pared with me showed me how helpless I 
was. And at the same time it made me 
dependent on myself while before I had no 
knowledge of what that was. I think this 
accounts for some of my doings that seem 
strange. (Smith to Boas, 16 September 1897, 

Smith continued to work over the next several 
weeks as if walking on eggshells. He asked, in cau- 
tious notes to Boas, what other museum staff, includ- 
ing Jesup, thought of him. He looked for advice on 
whether he should try to write newspaper articles for 
the McClure Syndicate about the expedition and reas- 
sured Boas that he would address the research ques- 
tions at hand. "I think to get at questions we need 
deeper shell heaps, but do not care to leave here until 
we have a more complete collection and hence knowl- 
edge of this place, unless you so desire. Kindly let me 
know" (Smith to Boas, 23 September 1897, AMNH). 

In addition to Smith's insecurities about being able 
to produce satisfactory results for the AMNH, a more 
immediate concern was a looming situation that had 
the potential to impede his fieldwork. In his first week 
at Port Hammond, Smith read in the local papers that 
two collectors from the Field Museum, George Dorsey 
and Edward Allen, had been arrested in Oregon for 
grave robbing and subsequently released (Cole 


1 45 

1 985:1 75-6). Only a week later, the Indian agent from 
New Westminster visited Smith to discuss the same 
topic. As Smith reported to Boas: 

He said that every Indian Agent here had 
received notice that there was a liability of 
parties digging in Indian grave yards and to 
look out for them as it was against the law. 
Also he had received a second circular giving 
him direction to warn the Indians & tell them 
the law on the subject. (Smith to Boas, 1 5 
September 1897, AMNH) 

Smith contacted British Columbia's superintendent 
of Indian affairs, A. W. Vowell, to thank him for some 
collections he had sent to the AMNH. Smith also 
inquired at this time about the Indian agent's warning 
against grave robbing. Vowell replied that the circulars 
were not directed toward Smith's work but, rather, 
were to inform local Native people about non-Natives 
who were digging up their graveyards so that the land 
could be preempted for settlement. This reply eased 
Smith's concern about collecting human remains, so 
he continued his work in the shell heaps at Port 
Hammond (Smith to Boas, 3 October 1 897, AMNH). 

Smith also used this time, especially on rainy days, 
to make his own contacts in the Katzie and Musqueam 
communities near Port Hammond and Eburne in order 
to photograph and make casts of the people there 
and collect ethnographic objects. In contrast to his 
experiences with Teit and Le jeune (and, later, Hunt), 
Smith did not have prior contacts with these Native 
communities. Nevertheless, members of the Katzie 
community near Port Hammond offered him the op- 
portunity to purchase a blanket of mountain goat wool, 
woven hats, a sxwayxwey mask, canoes, spindle 
whorls, rush mats, and other utilitarian items (Smith to 
Boas, 1 5 September, 9 October, 30 October 1 897, 
AMNH). Following his cautious program. Smith did not 
purchase any of these objects, as he wished Boas to 
give him direction on such acquisitions first. Smith did 
eventually purchase one of the beautiful mountain goat 
wool blankets on November 4, on his way back to 
New York, when he paid only $6 instead of the $10 

for which it had been offered on September 1 5 (Smith 
to Boas, 10 November 1897, AMNH). 

Smith was less cautious when it came to trying to 
obtain photographs and casts of the people living 
along the Fraser River. He initially tried to do some 
photography and casting of Native people at the prison 
in New Westminster, but his request was denied (Smith 
to Boas, 1 5 September 1 897, AMNH). Smith spent a 
number of days during rainy October urging people in 
the Katzie community to be photographed and cast. 
Although he offered $1 .00 for each cast, only Archille 
James, a 19-year-old youth from Katzie, agreed (Fig. 
48; AMNH 42886-42889). By the end of the 1897 
field season, Smith had not been able to get any other 
person from the Coast Salish communities in Victoria 
or the lower Fraser River to agree to be either photo- 
graphed or cast: 

I could not get a single Songish at Victoria, 
nor can I get any here [at Port Hammond] to 
submit to be cast ... All these lower Frazier 
people seem to object to casting— I must try 
here again next season when I work at the 
Great Frazier Midden. (Smith to Boas, 1 1 
October 1897, AMNH) 


On October 22 Smith shipped crates of his work from 
Port Hammond to New York and left the lower Fraser 
River for Victoria. Upon his arrival in Victoria, he met 
Oregon C. Hastings, a local resident who had worked 
with Boas in Fort Rupert in the past and was keenly 
interested in the archaeological sites of the area. The 
next day. Smith and Hastings set out to examine some 
of the burial cairns at Cadboro Bay, four miles north- 
east of Victoria (Smith and Fowke 1 901 :58).'° In seven 
days, he excavated 21 cairns. He was most disap- 
pointed to find that there was "only a speck of char- 
coal and a handful of bone dust" remaining in these 
cairns, largely because of the highly acidic soil and the 
shallow depths at which the bodies had been interred 
(Smith to Boas, 30 October 1 897, AMNH). After the 
cairn excavations. Smith and Hastings set to work at 
"the deepest shell heap I have seen" in Victoria. But 

1 46 


here again, Smith was disappointed at the scarcity of 
finds (Smith to Putnam, 4 November 1 897, AMNH). 

To compensate for the poor excavation results. 
Smith followed up some leads he had on ethnological 
collecting. He visited a small island in Esquimalt Harbour, 
where he was offered a drum used in winter dancing 
for $1 and a house post for $12. Still an archaeologist 
at heart, Smith commented that he saw "shell heaps in 
the process of formation" on the island (Smith to Boas, 
3 November 1 897, AMNH). Upon his return to Victoria, 
he met four men and three women, none of whom he 
named, from Kaiuquot on Vancouver Island who agreed 
to be paid $1 to have casts made and photos taken 
(Smith to Boas, 10 November 1897, AMNH)." 

On November 10, Smith boarded the train, stop- 
ping at Port Hammond before leaving for the East Coast. 
Despite Boas' advice, he was married to Helena Oakes 
in a small ceremony in Saginaw, Michigan, on Novem- 
ber 25. He then returned to New York to work on 
organizing and writing up the 1897 material. 

In the first AMNH memoir to come out of the Jesup 
Expedition, Boas summarized Smith's first season of 
work and noted the archaeologist's important contri- 
bution in "clearing up interesting points in the history 
of the Indians" through his examination of the shell 
middens of the lower Eraser River: 

It seems that the physical appearance of the 
Indians during the period of deposit of the 
shell-mounds on the lower Eraser River had 
undergone material changes. The results that 
were here obtained are so important, that it 
will be necessary to continue the researchers 
during the coming year. (Boas 1 898:1 1 ) 

Smith's Fieldwork, 1898 

During the next season in the field, from April to Sep- 
tember 1 898, Smith continued investigating archaeo- 
logical sites, photographing and casting physical types, 
and collecting ethnological artifacts from the commu- 
nities where he worked. But he spent a great deal more 
time and energy on the latter, and less time on photo- 
graphing and making casts for the study of physical 

anthropology. Smith's new wife, Helena, joined him in 
the field and drew a number of sketches for his corre- 
spondence to Boas. Perhaps because of his marriage 
to Helena, or because it was his second field season 
with the Jesup Expedition, Smith showed a new confi- 
dence in his work and new enthusiasm for the research. 
His letters from this season generally discuss in more 
detail his relations with local Native communities, and 
his archaeological observations are much less tenta- 
tive. In spite of this new confidence, Boas still pro- 
vided firm direction for the research. 


Smith left New York on April 1 3 by railroad via Ottawa 
to British Columbia. In Ottawa he spent two days sketch- 
ing and making notes on the collections at the Geo- 
logical Survey of Canada, under the direction of George 
Dawson (Smith n.d.). On April 2 1 he arrived in Kamloops 
to examine and collect archaeological materials that 
had been exposed by the wind over the past year. 

At Kamloops Smith also had the opportunity to 
take some useful ethnographic photos, including one 
of ayoung girl working on a hide with a stone scraper.'^ 

While at the village I saw a little girl scraping 
a skin with a stone hafted in a handle about 
3 ft long similar to the one Teit collected. 
Closer inspection showed 3 of these hafted 
scrapers, the skin stretched on a frame. I 
contemplate photographing her at work 
tomorrow and then buying the whole outfit 
for you as I think you will want it for a group. 
Fr. La Jeune thinks I can get it for $1.50 i.e. 
the skin so I suppose I can get skin & sticks 
from frame and scrapers entire for less than 
$5.00. If so I feel you will be glad of them. I 
know this is hardly in my line to collect 
Ethnology in this region but the thing seems 
too good to see go. (Smith to Boas, 21 April 
1898, AMNH) 

Smith felt that this collection of photographs and deer- 
hide-scraping equipment would be useful for "the con- 
struction of an ethnic group; especially since we have 
the physical material collected at this place in '97" (Smith 
n.d.). Smith also took photographs of a woman dig- 
ging roots and of a tepee-like structure.'^ 


1 47 

Spences Bridge 

Smith left Kamloops after a week and moved to 
Spences Bridge, where he again met with James Teit. 
Teit and Smith spent several days photographing te- 
pees and sweat houses and excavating in pithouses 
near Spences Bridge. During the previous winter, Smith 
had sent a number of photographs he had taken to 
Teit, who was to distribute them to the people who 
were pictured. After Teit had done so, those whose 
photos had not been sent were understandably up- 
set, and Teit was under some pressure to give every- 
one a copy of what had been taken of them. Smith 
wrote to Boas asking him to send the remaining pho- 
tos to alleviate the situation. He also asked Boas to 
send copies of the photographs taken of the picto- 
graphs at Lytton (Teit 1 900; York et al. 1 993), as Teit 
had agreed to ask local people for explanations (Smith 
to Boas, 2 May 1898, AMNH). 


After just over a week. Smith took his leave of Teit and 
Spences Bridge and headed down the Fraser River to 
Vancouver, where he set out to explore the large shell 
heap at Eburne commonly known as the Great Fraser 
Midden (Smith to Boas, 27 April 1898, AMNH). Smith 
began his archaeological excavations on May 2. He 
had three men working with him in the field; 0. C. 
Hastings, W. H. Hindshaw, and Roland B. Dixon, all of 
Vancouver (Smith to Boas, 2 May 1 898, AMNH). The 
Great Fraser Midden produced a large number of hu- 
man remains and artifacts from deeply stratified de- 
posits.' ^ The finds from these excavations are well re- 
ported in Smith's monograph "Shell-Heaps of the Lower 
Fraser River" (Smith 1903). 

Smith was more determined than ever to discover 
the relationship between the long and broad skulls 
that both he and Hill-Tout had found in previous 
seasons. Boas had clearly convinced him of the impor- 
tance of these skulls to the overall research questions 
of the Jesup Expedition. Smith believed that by 
working at the Great Fraser Midden, where Hill-Tout 

had found his original long skull, he would be able to 
provide answers to this question. Soon after Smith 
began his excavations, however, he became aware 
that there may not have been only two types: "Every- 
thing is going well. We find two distinct types of skulls 
and it seems also that we find every conceivable inter- 
mediate form. In fact as Hastings well expresses it, we 
get no two alike" (Smith to Boas, 1 6 May 1 898, AMNH). 
In a later letter he reaffirmed this observation: 

I wrote to you of the Hammond type of skull 
and the long type. By long type I meant the 
type represented by the Hill-Tout skull. I 
don't know how many I have of them but at 
least 6 in good condition and some broken. 
There seem to be intermediate forms. I feel 
all mixed up about them as they are so 
different. There may be 3 or 4 types so far as 
I can see hastily. . . . The two types seem to 
be buried alike i.e. with equal care and some 
of each are deep down, others are high up. 
(Smith to Boas, 3 June 1898, AMNH) 

In the publications of the Jesup Expedition, Smith's field 
sense of the different kinds of skulls represented were 
overridden by Boas' own interpretation of the human 
remains. Neither Smith nor Boas mentioned the uncer- 
tainties Smith had in the field about the number of 
different types of skulls present in the shell heap. 
Instead, they both reported that there were two types 
of skulls found in the shell heaps— one narrow and the 
other broad, both of which were cranially deformed 
(Boas 1903; Smith 1903). Boas' insights were obvi- 
ously a powerful force for the Jesup Expedition, and he 
considered this a highly significant interpretation, 
whether it was correct or not. Had Boas taken seri- 
ously Smith's field observations— that there were not 
two distinct types of skulls but, rather, many forms in 
between— he might have reconsidered his long-held, 
but misguided, interpretation that the Salish were rela- 
tively recent arrivals in the area. 

Another important aspect of Smith's stay at Eburne 
was his work among the Musqueam community at 
the mouth of the Fraser River, which he visited on a 
rainy May day, looking to purchase ethnological ma- 
terials for the museum. A man offered to sell him a 

1 48 


"whewhe" [sxwayxweyl mask for $10, a horn rattle 
[syiwmexwtses] for $10, and an entire shaman's outfit 
for $100 (Smith to Boas, 19 IVlay 1898, AMNH). The 
outfit was far too expensive for him, and he decided 
to wait before buying the mask, hoping the man would 
reduce the price. 

I have not yet bought the mask for $10.00 
or the horn rattle for $ 1 0.00. I expect to get 
the mask in the fall and hope to get it 
cheaper by delay. Do you want the rattle at 
$10.00? It seems to be fine, has goat wool 
fringe, carving of human head on handle, and 
the rattle part is carved in their own art. 
There was at least 6 of the masks all the 
same in the Delta. The shamans outfit 
consists simply of mask & feather attach- 
ments. I do not think you would care for it at 
$ 1 00.00 and I think you would prefer the 
$10.00 mask & $10.00 horn rattle to it even 
if they were equal in cost. I have worked my 
best to get things from them. Hastings has 
also. I sent you a list of what we got. Yet I 
hope to get more later. I have not all there is 
to get & want to bring you a complete lot 
from the Fraser Delta. What are shell rattles 
worth? Several of this kind of shell [sketch of 
a large Pacific scallop shell] are strung on a 
hoop. Will make every effort to get all kinds 
of baskets & uses. (Smith to Boas, 3 June 
1898, AMNH) 

This was a difficult time for the Native people of 
the Northwest Coast. The Canadian government's laws 
banning the potlatch and winter dancing were in full 
effect. Missionaries and priests were collecting and 
burning ceremonial regalia, and Native children were 
being separated from their families and sent to resi- 
dential schools. Many of the spiritual activities had to 
be conducted underground. A shaman's outfit like the 
one offered to Smith was clearly a powerful and im- 
portant ritual object at the time and was not going to 
be parted with for a small sum of money. 

Smith did obtain a house post from "Chief 
Nuxwhailak," who accepted only $10 for it and said 
that the pole was "part gift to museum" because the 
museum was going to use it for "educational purposes" 
(Fig. 49). The AMNH received the post on the condi- 
tion that it was to be labeled "from house of Kaplanux, 

grandfather of present Chief Nuxwhailak from whom it 
was obtained" (Smith to Boas, 1 8 May 1 898, AMNH). 
The chief's condition about the label on his gift was 
not (and has not subsequently been) respected by the 
AMNH. Smith attempted to document the meanings 
associated with this post, "as well as they could give 
them," but he was disappointed by the report given 
by Chief Nuxwhailak. "The man figure they say is sim- 
ply an ornament or a carving made to be a carving & 
has no meaning. They don't seem to know as much of 
the old times as we wish they did" (Smith to Boas, 3 
June 1898, AMNH). 

Had Smith learned to take down accounts in the 
Halkomelem language, or had he had the assistance 
of someone like James Teit or George Hunt in the 
Musqueam community, he might not have been so 
disappointed and might have found that people knew 
more then they let on in English. 

Smith tried to collect other posts that he photo- 
graphed at Musqueam during his stay at Eburne.'^ He 
used his technique of showing community members 
pictures of the AMNH's halls, explaining that if the poles 
were moved there, they would be kept out of the rain 
and weather. However, he was not able to purchase 
any of the others that he photographed, as the people 
from Musqueam "would not sell others at any price 
except one for which they wanted $100.00 and it 
was some broken" (Smith to Boas, 3 June 1 898, AMNH). 

Fort Rupert 

After spending a few days visiting sites in the Bound- 
ary Bay area of Vancouver, Smith traveled up the coast 
to Fort Rupert to work with George Hunt. With Hunt's 
assistance. Smith was able to arrange the taking of 
casts and photographs of a number of men from the 
community at Fort Rupert, although no women would 
take part.' ' In addition to the usual array of profiles and 
poses intended to capture the "physical type" of the 
people. Smith took photos of a Fort Rupert potlatch, 
gambling, a woman's potlatch, several house posts 
and totem poles, and coppers fastened to trees. These 


1 49 

and a series of "unposed photos" of an old man "clothed 
in a blanket sharpening a stone adze" (Smith n.d.) form 
a significant contribution to the ethnological photos 
of the Fort Rupert area of this time.'* 

Smith began his archaeological investigations by 
excavating a number of shell heaps in the area.''' He 
continued to be puzzled by the different excavation 
results from middens in various areas of the coast. In 
the Fort Rupert middens he found very few artifacts 
and no human remains, which was very different from 
the numerous finds in the shell heaps on the lower 
Fraser River. In a letter that he intended to be kept as 
a portion of his field notes, Smith anticipated the need 
for further careful and thorough investigations to make 
meaningful interpretations of the archaeological record: 

I learn of a new shell heap in every direction 
almost daily and at best can only hope to 
see a few of them this year, for were I to visit 
them all I would have no time to dig in any 
of them. I have to chose a few locations and 
work in them to get an idea of the different 
regions from the few typical representatives. 
. . . Some shell heaps but a short distance from 
others present such different characteristics 
that I feel they may belong to different peoples 
or be summer residences fishing stations or the 
like of the same people. To determine all these 
matters will require considerable further 
investigation and if that produces as much 
variety it will again extend the investigation. 
(Smith to Boas, 6 July 1 898, AMNH) 

Smith's concerns had progressed from collecting a 
large quantity of samples to please AMNH patrons to 
collecting adequate samples for careful interpretations 
of each site. Just as Boas had taken issue with Smith's 
obsession with large collections, these new difficulties 
in interpretation were also a problem for Boas, who 
was seeking to get a broad idea of the historical, cul- 
tural, and physical relationships of the Native people 
of the North Pacific Rim. If archaeology was to provide 
answers to these questions during the Jesup Expedi- 
tion, investigations would have to be made over the 
whole region. This broad goal conflicted with Smith's 
methodological desire for thorough investigations 
of single, deep sites. But careful interpretation of the 

1 50 

remains from each site would not allow excavations 
at as many sites as Boas wished. Despite Smith's pref- 
erence, Boas' leadership in defining regional research 
goals pushed Smith on to other areas. 

Although archaeological investigations in Fort 
Rupert did not reveal many human remains, Smith was 
successful in collecting from more recent graves in tree 
burials and rock shelters. At the end of the first week 
in Fort Rupert, he wrote to Boas: 

We have secured five complete skeletons 
and three skulls from tree and box burials. 
George Hunt got permission to take these 
bones. We are doing it secretly however, 
leaving no traces behind us and will use the 
permission to cover a possible detection. 
(Smith to Boas, 1 2 June 1 898, AMNH) 

Smith later wrote to Boas that although he had per- 
mission from Hunt to take these skeletons, he "thought 
what the Indians did not know about it would not 
hurt them" (Smith to Boas, 6 July 1 898, AMNH). By the 
end of Smith's stay in Fort Rupert, 32 skulls had been 
obtained from tree, box, and cave burials, in addition 
to several painted boards and boxes from these 

While working in the Fort Rupert area, Harlan and 
Helena Smith camped on the shell heap near the home 
of George Hunt's sisters, Sarah and Jane. Smith was 
delighted by the hospitality of the Hunt family, who 
often visited, bringing fresh food and gifts, but the 
Hunt family came to have very different feelings about 
him and Helena. In addition to several other grievances, 
the excavation of the burials was not well received by 
the community in the winter, a few months after the 
Smiths had left, when community members discov- 
ered what they had done. George Hunt received the 
brunt of enormous family and community resentment 
about the Smiths' stay in Fort Rupert. Hunt wrote (in 
his particular style) about these problems to Boas: 

Now there is one thing that I am sorry to let 
you know what Mrs. H. I. Smith Done for me 
and I think for you to now the knight there 
arrived here. I went and Beged my two 
sisters Sarah and Jane to let them Have a 


Room for the night for Mr. Smith was my 
friend, so they did give IVIr. and Mrs. Smith 
one of there Rooms in the House free of 
charges and after that, my sisters was kind 
enough to let them have Empty cases free of 
charges and Even Help me in sending the 
Indians to him to have there casts taken and 
after Mr. Smith left Fort Rupert he left all his 
traps in the care of my sister and the thank 
my sister got from her, or Mrs. Smith. She 
went to Victoria put something against my 
sisters, on the newspapers. The it was 
enough to make Mr. Spencer and wife and all 
my sisters would not speak to me Ever since 
they Read the paper of what Mrs. Smith say 
about them, and Even signed by her. It seems 
to me that Mrs. Smith asked Sarah and Jane 
to let her have one each of these photo- 
graphs, so my sisters did have her that is to 
Mrs. Smith one Each of these photos, and on 
the second paper she let the reporters 
scratch the two pictures and put them into 
the news paper and the names she called 
them there I am shame to talk about, so my 
sisters got that wild about things that they 
went and Report to the Indians what Mr. 
Smith done to there Daid and that I was 
helping them, and the Indians, said that they 
will never let Mr. Smith come to Fort Rupert 
again to still there grave again. Now I let Mr. 
Smith have David Boat, that cost David 
$25.00 Dollars, and after it was returned, the 
keel was all worn away, leeking like a basket 
for the Bottom was nearly worn through. Yet I 
am pleased for the things that I got from Mr. 
Smith. (Hunt to Boas, 1 Januan/ 1 899, APS) 

Hunt's news about the Smiths was accompanied 
by the further bad news that one of the Fort Rupert 
chiefs had heard that Boas was making speeches tell- 
ing of how the KwakiutI were still "living on the Daid 
[dead] people." Because of these two incidents. Hunt 
was told at a feast that neither he nor Boas could ever 
attend ceremonials again. On hearing this news. Boas 
responded in defense of Smith and the work of the 
Jesup Expedition; 

Now about the Smiths. I simply cannot 
understand the things you are talking about. 
All the letters that I received from Smith and 
Mrs. Smith while they were in British Colum- 
bia were just full of praise of your sisters and 
you mother, and every time they talk about 
British Columbia, they say how kindly all of 
you treated them; in fact, they are taking 
every opportunity to express how much they 

are indebted to all of you. I am quite certain 
that neither he nor she would willingly hurt 
the feelings of any of your people. I suppose 
the whole trouble lies with the meddlesome 
and nasty newspaper writers. You do not 
know how they are bothering us all the time, 
and how every thing they learn is twisted 
about in the paper so as to make it look 
exciting to the people. I suppose you 
remember the nasty figures and the horrible 
description of the dance that was in one of 
the newspapers, said to be written by me, 
but which was simply made up, and stolen 
out of my book. You may be quite sure that 
the same thing happened to the Smiths. 
(Stocking 1974:126)" 

Boas' response to the accusations by the chiefs is 
now something of its own legend: he sent Hunt funds 
to host a feast, and Hunt gave out copies of his previ- 
ously published KwakiutI work and made a speech to 
clear their names. While Boas cleaned up his reputation 
with Hunt and the Kwakwaka'wakw [KwakiutI], Smith 
avoided further controversy by not returning to that 
community the next year. Such a response could only 
have reinforced Smith's desire to keep his gravedigging 
archaeological work quiet. 

Nimpkish River, Alert Bay, and Comox 
Smith continued to work on the northern end of 
Vancouver Island through the months of July and Au- 
gust in the area around the Nimpkish River, Alert Bay, 
and Comox. Much of his time was spent in archaeo- 
logical excavations of shell heaps. The results of these 
archaeological investigations are well reported in his 
"Archaeology of the Gulf of Georgia and Puget Sound" 
(Smith 1907:305-30). Smith's concern over method- 
ological bias in his interpretation of the archaeological 
material continued: 

I feel that our finds may not in all cases be 
correlated with the real losses of these 
people, but are more or less influenced by our 
luck, consequently we have to do a great deal 
[of excavation] and get much in order to 
eliminate, as far as possible, the luck equation. 
(Smith to Boas, 1 August 1 898, AMNH) 

Smith's "luck" in the shell heaps did not include find- 
ing many human remains. To compensate for this 


apparent lack, he and Hunt continued to collect more 
recent burials from grave boxes found in trees. Smith 
and Hunt did consult with members of the Comox 
community about collecting from a grave site; one 
member was willing to sell a grave post for $14." 

Smith and Hunt were active in collecting additional 
ethnological specimens for the museum. While work- 
ing in the Nimpkish River area, Smith was given a large 
"grease pole" that served as a fountain for fish grease 
at feasts (AMNH 43019). A human figure was carved 
into the pole, and fish oil poured into the back of the 
head came out of its mouth (Smith to Boas, 1 August 
1898, AMNH). While in Comox, Smith and Hunt were 
able to acquire a xoaexoe mask, a collection of bas- 
kets, and 1 1 carved posts. Smith reported that the 
mask was one of two in the area and was purchased 
for $ 1 2.00 from a man from Comox. The carved posts 
he collected included several grave markers and some 
house posts that were standing inside an old long- 
house (Fig. 50). This was one of the largest ethnologi- 
cal purchases Smith made during his work with the 
Jesup Expedition. It took up a substantial amount of 
his disposable budget, which curtailed further expen- 
ditures during the year. Smith made some detailed notes 
on these posts in his correspondence with Boas." 

Before leaving Comox, Smith visited Denman Island, 
where he observed a shell midden in the process of 
creation. His photograph catalogue reads, 'The origin 
of a shell heap, clam shell thrown away after a 
meal— the fire, the stones, and the sea weed to hold 
in steam— all left on beach by a travelling party of 
Indians" (AMNH 42031). 

Nanaimo and Duncan 

During the last week of August, Smith made his way 
down the east coast of Vancouver Island from Comox 
to Victoria, stopping in the communities of Nanaimo 
and Duncan, where there were large Indian reserves. 
He located shell heaps in both areas but determined 
that "it would be best to devote our remaining time 
and money elsewhere" (Smith to Boas, 3 1 August 1 898, 

AMNH). In Nanaimo, at the mouth of the Chase River, 
he visited a site containing many petroglyphs. He origi- 
nally wished to send the rock art to New York by 
quarrying the sandstone but thought the expense of 
shipping would be prohibitive. He photographed the 
petroglyphs and made a plaster cast of one of them 
for the museum (Smith to Boas, 31 August 1898, 
AMNH).'^'' In Duncan, Smith located a shell heap on one 
of the Indian reserves but was not permitted to do 
any excavation. He continued to look for house posts 
in all four Cowichan villages he visited but did not find 
any. Feeling pressed for both time and money, and 
disappointed, he continued on to Victoria. 

North Saanich, Victoria 

Smith arrived in Victoria on August 30 and had a fortu- 
itous meeting with five Native people who were will- 
ing to be photographed and cast (AMNH 12074- 
1 2092). Significantly, these people were not of local 
Coast Salish ancestry but were Nuu-chah-nulth [Nootka] 
from the west coast of Vancouver Island. Smith's fur- 
ther efforts in the local Salish villages around Victoria 
turned up no one interested in taking part in photo- 
graphs or casts. 

For the rest of the week, Smith and his crew did 
archaeological work at several sites in the North Saanich 
area. His main purpose was to explore the cairns that 
he had heard about from local residents. He also vis- 
ited many local farmers who had collections of arti- 
facts, making sketches of them for his publications, 
and spent time drawing and making notes on the arti- 
facts at the Provincial Museum in Victoria." Smith left 
one of his field assistants, Albert Argyle, to continue 
investigations in the area around North Saanich, where 
several shell heaps and 1 2 cairns were excavated (Smith 
to Boas, 31 August 1898, AMNH; Smith n.d.). 

Vancouver and Port Hammond 
On Smith's return to Vancouver on September 7, he 
discovered that the rates for shipping materials to 
New York had increased three times over those of the 

1 52 


previous year. He canceled his plans to explore Puget 
Sound, Washington, and the Point Grey area in 
Vancouver because funds had to be diverted to ship- 
ping (Smith to Boas, 7 September 1 898, AMNH). He 
decided to use the last of his funds in the Vancouver 
area, visiting the Musqueam Reserve in order to col- 
lect the objects he had seen the past summer: 

Musqueam Indians doubled the price on the 
rattle making it $20.00 so I left it. Wanted 
$20.00 to be photographed at loom, as did 
also Duncan Indians^will try it again at Port 
Hammond. Offered $5.00 but thought 
$20.00 too much & need it for shell heap 
work. Told me 10 disks game on plate not 
used & did not know it or have it. It was lost 
long ago they said. Told me bear tooth 
game did not exist. Conclude the man with 
bear teeth meant by "he he" that he was 
fixing bear teeth for fun. I thought he meant 
for a game. I secured a blanket (Mt. Coat), Vz 
made, $3.00. Cowitchin Indians would not 
sell loom but I saw how they were made. 
They would not show us how to weave as it 
took so long & much work & they wanted 
$20.00 to do it. I have tried, & with Hastings 
help, to get the pictures of weaving at every 
place we have been and went twice to 
Musqueam, several times in May and once 
yesterday. I conclude as I have spent so 
much for ethnology ... [I] will use the money 
for shell heap work. (Smith to Boas, 7 Sep- 
tember 1898, AMNH) 

Smith's confusion over the "bear tooth" game came 
from a poor understanding of the Musqueam 
Halkomelem term xdxe (Smith's "he he"), which means 
"sacred," "taboo." As was typical for Smith's work in 
the Coast Salish communities, he was able to collect 
nothing from Musqueam except a photograph of "cat 
tails from mats" (AMNH 43032). 

Smith's last money for the season was spent exca- 
vating for a few days at Port Hammond. He visited the 
Katzie Reserve, where he had previously seen another 
Xoaexoe [sxwayxwey\ mask, but again, he was un- 
able to purchase it. In September, Smith ended his field- 
work and boarded the train for New York. 

Smith's investigations over 1 897 and 1 898 gener- 
ated a number of specific research questions that he 
wished to address through further archaeological work 

in shell heaps. He posed these questions to Boas in a 
letter written near the end of his field season: 

Are the long skulls found elsewhere than at 
Eburne? Are they found at Hammond? Are 
the rich shell heaps, like those off Hammond 
and Eburne, which have a large proportion of 
black soil and specimens, uncommon to the 
salt water places such as Boundary Bay, 
Victoria, Fort Rupert, Comox, etc, where the 
heaps consist mainly of shells and are barren 
of specimens except in the much near the 
top? What is the difference between these 
two sorts of shell heaps? Is the former type 
peculiar to rivers, or only to the Eraser, or is it 
common to a river where tribes could gather 
to catch fish then go away, let the grass 
grow to cover lost objects so they would not 
be again found and where they would loose in 
moving or discard before moving, where 
murders and lawlessness would be greater? 
(Smith to Boas, 31 August 1898, AMNH) 

Smith's musings seem distant from the larger goals of 
the Jesup Expedition. The problems that concerned him 
were those of understanding how the archaeological 
sites were formed and what the different functions of 
the sites were. His expenditures on ethnology and the 
increased rates for shipping made it very difficult for 
him to pursue Boas' broad vision at the end of 1 898. 
Smith would get one more season under the Jesup 
North Pacific Expedition to address these questions. 

Smith's Last Fieldwork, 1899 

During the summer and fall of 1 899, Smith continued 
his investigations at Kamloops, Puget Sound, Port 
Douglas, Lillooet, Eburne, North Saanich, Spences Bridge, 
and Nicola Lake. His excavations in these areas are 
well reported in his publications. However, the archi- 
val record for the early part of this last season is not as 
complete. The following account is therefore limited 
to very brief summaries of Smith's published material 
and what can be gleaned from the photograph record. 


Smith left New York in early May and arrived in 
Kamloops on May 1 6. He paid a brief visit to the sites 
from which he had previously collected, finding that 


1 53 

the wind had revealed additional features. Here he 
made several more collections of artifacts and skel- 
etons from exposed deposits before moving on to 
Puget Sound (Smith to Boas, 1 7 May 1 899, AMNH). 

Puget Sound 

As in British Columbia, Smith conducted his research 
primarily by making surface collections at sites where 
artifacts and human remains were exposed, by visiting 
and describing existing collections of artifacts in mu- 
seums and private collections, and by undertaking ex- 
cavations at selected sites that appeared to be prom- 
ising for collecting a great deal of material. Of the 25 
locations on which Smith reported in his 1907 publi- 
cation, he only excavated the five sites of Marietta, 
Stanwood, New Dungeness, Port Williams, and Burton.-^^ 
W. H. Thacker, a resident of western Washington who 
worked with Smith in the Puget Sound region, con- 
ducted several excavations of shell heaps and burial 
cairns in the San Juan Islands (Smith 1 907:380-6). 

Smith's photograph records show that he was able 
to obtain only a few photographs in these Coast Salish 
communities.''^ This general lack of participation in 
photography and casting is consistent with that of 
other Coast Salish people whom Smith visited. Smith 
also took a number of pictures of an old shed-roof 
house at Lummi (AMNH 12129-12133) but did not 
collect any of the planks or any of the eight carved 
house posts that were there. The meager results of the 
shell heap work in Washington prompted Smith to re- 
turn in late July to British Columbia, where he began his 
work in the Lillooet-Harrison Lake region. 

Lillooet-Harrison Lake 

From Smith's investigations in Lillooet-Harrison Lake, 
there are a few letters from Boas to Smith in the 
field. It appears that the focus of his work was the 
acquisition of skeletons, specifically skulls. Boas felt 
that this area might provide important historical in- 
formation about the link between Coastal and Inte- 
rior people: 

I did not expect you to confine yourself to 
skulls, but should have been glad to have 
had archaeological researches carried on 
also. . . . You know the Lillooet region is one 
of those inland districts by way of which 
coast culture entered the interior, and for this 
reason it is particularly interesting from an 
historic point of view. It might be, for 
instance, that in prehistoric times the culture 
proved to be much purer interior culture then 
later on, or it might be that the culture was 
more closely affiliated to the coast culture 
than it is now. The Lillooet have adopted the 
social organization of the coast tribes, and 
many of their industries, as far north as the 
town of Lillooet, on Fraser River. At the same 
time they have many things in common with 
the tribes stretching from Columbia River 
through the Cascade Range, up to the 
Chilcotin Valley. It would be exceedingly 
interesting to obtain prehistoric skulls from this 
area. (Boas to Smith, 5 August 1 899, AMNH) 

Smith was successful beyond his expectations in 
collecting skulls from the area, but he seems to have 
lowered his own ethical standards to do so: 

When I began work in the Lillooet Valley I 
said "If I can only get two skulls I will be 
surprised and pleased" but in this regard I 
have succeeded beyond my hope. I have 
(16) sixteen more or less complete skel- 
etons—all of them are so old that the Indians 
said I might dig. But with nearly all, evi- 
dences of white contact were found. Some 
were under rock piles but not well formed 
cairns. Nearly all the skulls are entire ... by 
taking skeletons out on backs we got them 
out without Indians realizing the bulk & so free 
from objections. But when the Indians return 
from fishing it would not be pleasant to be 
here. (Smith to Boas, 1 9 August 1 899, AMNH) 

Although he was pleased about being able to make 
such a large collection of material. Smith was con- 
cerned about "running some risks" for the expedition: 

I consider that no trouble will arise from my 
work up the Lillooet and yet as the work 
was done while only a few Indians were 
there, those who were absent and have 
since returned might object. Those that were 
present did not confront me much and I feel 
that I would rather let the matter be di- 
gested by them before taking up more 
extensive archaeological studies, which 
must, of necessity to careful work and 
preservation of specimens, be done more 


openly. The skeletons I collected there and 
at other places are evidence that I am not 
trying to get out of running some risks on 
small insurance. (Smith to Boas, 16 Septem- 
ber 1899, AMNH) 

Smith is surely making reference to the cautious atti- 
tude he had after his father's failed business. 

Boas may have thought Smith too eager to inves- 
tigate areas sure to yield quantities of artifacts and 
human remains for the museum. While Smith was re- 
porting the quantities of human remains being collected 
from Lillooet, Boas again became concerned as to 
whether Smith was pursuing the larger questions of 
the Jesup Expedition by obtaining material from the 
entire region being investigated rather than spending 
too much time at any one site. Boas wrote to Smith 
suggesting that he return to Stanwood, Washington, 
to further investigate the relationship between the 
Puget Sound shell heaps and those of the Fraser River: 

It strikes me that you have spent very little 
time at Stanwood, considering the impor- 
tance of getting information from a different 
region similar to Eburne. I wish you would 
consider if it would not be advisable, on your 
return from Nanaimo, to go back there once 
more, to continue your studies. I hope you 
are not too much influenced in your judge- 
ment by the number of specimens you find. I 
consider it of the very greatest importance 
to do as much as we can towards the 
solution of the problem of the distribution of 
the shell mounds of Eburne character and 
also of the distribution of cairns on the east 
and west sides of Puget Sound. Of course, I 
rely on your judgement in all these matters; 
but I wish to urge you not to feel too much 
influenced by the consideration of the 
number of specimens that you are going to 
send back. First of all, we want to under- 
stand the history and distribution of cultural 
forms. I hope you will consider this matter 
while you are working in the Lillooet region. 
(Boas to Smith, 29 July 1899, AMNH) 

Although Boas was providing strong guidance on the 
direction the fieldwork should take, he clearly felt more 
secure in Smith's judgment than he had in previous 
seasons. Smith advised Boas that a return to Stanwood 
would not have been profitable for the expedition: 

I fear I did not give you a clear idea of 
Stanwood. When the very 1st day I noticed 
the blackness of the shell heap I wrote you it 
was like Eburne. I referred to the blackness 
and to the fact that it was a delta. I now 
think the blackness due to surrounding delta 
soil instead of clean sand as in the sea beach 
shell heaps. There was nothing in the finds at 
Stanwood to suggest it to be more like 
Eburne than other places except the skulls, 
several of which were found. If, after you 
examine the skulls, we find that they re- 
semble Eburne types or differ from types of 
which we have information; then by all 
means I think more data should be secured 
from Stanwood. If however the skulls are of 
no particular interest, then there is nothing 
that I know of to lead us to return to 
Stanwood more than to many other places. 
(Smith to Boas, 19 August 1899, AMNH) 

In spite of Boas' desire to get more material from 
Puget Sound, Smith did not return to Stanwood to 
continue excavations there after he had completed 
his work at Lillooet. Instead, he followed his plans to 
return to North Saanich, via Eburne, to continue the 
work on the cairns and shell heaps that he had started 
in the previous season. Smith felt he could best ad- 
dress the questions of the expedition through thor- 
ough investigation of these previously explored sites. 


Toward the end of August, Smith traveled down the 
Fraser River from the Lillooet-Harrison Lake area. He 
stopped for a day in Vancouver and returned to the 
Musqueam Reserve in an attempt to collect some of 
the house posts and spindle whorls he had been un- 
willing to purchase the previous year, partly because 
he considered them too high in price. But Smith found 
the people at Musqueam no longer interested in sell- 
ing any of their objects for any price to someone who 
was going to take the items out of the country. Smith 
was not deterred: 

At Eburne I got two carved posts for $1 5.00 
each. They would not sell them last year but 
I brought photos of them. I considered that 
carvings from the Lower Fraser are very much 
to be desired. They would not sell them to 
New York even this year, but they sold them 


to an Eburne friend who turned them over to 
me for cost. The Indians who had the fine 
spindle whorl last year were not home so I had 
that trip for naught. . . . Indians near Eburne have 
been told not to sell specimens to people who 
plan to take said specimens out of Canada. 
(Smith to Boas, 25 August 1899, AMNH) 

Through this deception, Smith was finally able to make 
a collection from Musqueam. It is doubtful that the 
people from Musqueam who sold their posts to Smith's 
Eburne friend were ever informed of their being removed 
from the country. 

North Saanich 

The next day, Smith left Vancouver for North Saanich 
and set up his excavations there just before the end of 
August. He was very interested in continuing the ex- 
cavation of the cairns that had been first explored the 
previous year. He excavated 30 cairns at five different 
locations in the North Saanich area (Smith and Fowke 
1901:65-6; AMNH 431 09-431 1 2). He also continued 
his excavations of the previous year at one of the large 
North Saanich shell heaps (Smith 1907:331). In Sep- 
tember he received word from Boas that his archaeo- 
logical fieldwork was to terminate so that the material 
could be worked up back at the museum: 

My present idea is, that with all the material 
that you have in hand at the present time, it 
would be best for you to stay here next 
summer and write out what you have. I do 
not believe that it is a good plan to accumu- 
late more material than we can actually 
manage. In that case, of course it would be 
best either to do the Lillooet work this year 
or to defer it until 1 901 . I wish you would be 
entirely guided in these matters by your 
judgement, on which I rely. I do not wish to 
interfere in any way with your plans, as I 
cannot judge from a distance what is best to 
do. (Boas to Smith, 5 August 1899, AMNH) 

Smith agreed with Boas that the coming season would 
be best spent in New York: 

I am glad that you feel that I ought to write 
up the material in hand. I am sure that I have 
much, to supplement notes, in my mind 
which will shrink and become confused with 
other matters if I delay writing it out too 

long. It might be well to write out the matter 
in shape for publication and then lay it aside. 
Later after all the work on any certain 
problem or place was done, changes could 
be made if the later works required that the 
first impressions written out be revised. 
(Smith to Boas, 16 September 1899, AMNH) 

With the end of the season nearing, Smith concluded 
his investigations in North Saanich and returned to 
Spences Bridge to meet with Teit and make a journey 
into the Nicola Valley. 

Nicola Lake 

In the last week of September, Smith became reac- 
quainted with Teit in Spences Bridge. Smith had brought 
copies of his newly printed "Archaeology of Lytton" 
(1 899b) to British Columbia so that he could show the 
drawings of artifacts to knowledgeable elders: Baptise 
from Nicola Valley; Michel from Lytton; Salicte, James, 
and Charlie Tcilaxitca from Nicola Lake. These elders 
provided extensive, detailed information on the uses 
of the objects in Smith's book, which he included as 
an appendix in his next monograph, "Archaeology of 
the Thompson River Region" (Smith 1 900d:440-2). 

With a week to spare before Smith had to return to 
New York, Smith and Teit set out on a hike into the 
somewhat remote Nicola Valley. They wished to ob- 
serve and collect from a number of sites where Teit 
had heard about a particular burial practice. These buri- 
als were unusual in that the deceased was laid inside a 
tent set up beside a steep bank, after which a rock 
slide was caused, covering the grave with boulders 
(Fig. 51)." The remains from these burials were very 
well preserved and in some cases included impressive 
copper grave goods (Smith to Boas, 30 September 
1 899, AMNH). Smith and Teit also photographed the 
frame of a sweat house, a "kickulie house," and a group 
of people they met near the mouth of Nicola Lake 
(AMNH 43100, 43101- 43102, and 43106, respec- 
tively). After a week of making collections and taking 
photographs of the area, they returned to Spences 
Bridge. Smith packed up the last of his collections for 
shipping and returned to New York. 

1 56 


Smith's Contributions to Archaeology 
and the Jesup Expedition 

Smith spent the next eight years working at the AlVlNH 
as assistant curator of archaeology, "receiving, unpacl<- 
ing, cataloguing, repairing, [taking care of] installation 
or storage, and the labelling of specimens, as well as 
answering the questions of visitors and correspondents" 
(Smith to Putnam, 23 December 1902, AMNH). The 
exhibits Smith set up at the AMNH had plainly written 
labels intended for the lay public, but he also made 
concessions to serious scholars. He illustrated the mem- 
oirs of his explorations, which he worked on in addi- 
tion to his regular duties, with pieces that corresponded 
to the exhibits, thus giving the fullest possible account 
of the materials to the scholar. 

Smith did not make any more field trips to the coast 
of British Columbia under the auspices of the Jesup 
Expedition. He did, however, conduct field research 
for the AMNH in Yakima Valley, Washington, in 1 903 
(Smith 1905, 1906a, 1906b, 1910a, 1910b) and on 
the coasts of northern British Columbia and southern 
Alaska in 1909 (Smith 1909a, 1910c, 1910d, 1910e, 
1910f, 191 1). He continued on at the AMNH until 191 1, 
when he moved to Ottawa to take up the important 
position of Dominion archaeologist for the National 
Museum of Canada. Over the next two decades, he 
continued his field research off and on in British Colum- 
bia and also conducted pioneering research in Que- 
bec and Nova Scotia. He did not restrict himself to 
archaeology; he also pursued ethnographic filmmak- 
ing and photography, ethnobotany, and the educa- 
tion of the public on Native history and culture. His 
career has left a lasting legacy in these areas. ^° 

Evaluating Smith's Jesup Work 
Boas had determined that Smith's primary research 
objective was to investigate and report on the archaeo- 
logical remains of the North Pacific Coast of North 
America, to shed some light on the relationships 
between people of the New and Old Worlds. Boas 
hoped that this information would be able to support 

linguistic and ethnological evidence that was collected 
by other members of the Jesup Expedition (Boas 1 902:3, 
1 903). Smith's additional work in photography, physi- 
cal anthropo.ogy, and ethnology also contributed to 
the goals of the expedition but remain absent from 
most of the publications relating to the JNPE. 

Reviews of Smith's research by his peers indicate 
that his work was considered important and well done 
in its day. Otis T. Mason gave Smith and other Jesup 
team members "hearty praise" for their research (Ma- 
son 1 900:805); J. A. McCuire felt that Smith deserved 
"the thanks of all students of archaeology for the thor- 
ough manner in which he has performed his task" 
(McCuire 1 903:552); and even Ceorge M. Dawson, who 
did not like having artifacts and human remains leave 
Canada, congratulated Smith for "illustrating the archae- 
ology of this interesting locality" (Dawson 1899:767). 
These reviewers all concurred that Smith had done well 
in his first task, the description of the archaeology of 
British Columbia and Washington. 

How did this archaeological work address the 
questions posed by the Jesup Expedition? Smith inter- 
preted his archaeological collections found in the inte- 
rior of British Columbia as reflecting cultures that were, 
by and large, the same as those of the present-day 
inhabitants (Smith 1899b: 161, 1 900d:432-3). For the 
coastal regions, his published interpretations state the 
same general point: that "the finds indicate that the 
prehistoric people whose remains are found in these 
shell-heaps had a culture resembling in most of its fea- 
tures that of the present natives of the Eraser Delta" 
(Smith 1903:188). Smith found the artifacts and art- 
work of the lower levels of the shell heaps to be al- 
most identical to those of the upper levels. 

Confusion about Smith's interpretation of the 
coastal material persist. Smith, following Boas' hypoth- 
esis, makes a case for there having been at some point 
in the past a replacement of the early coastal inhabit- 
ants by people from the interior (Smith 1903:190, 
1 907:438-9). The main basis for this interpretation was 
the replacement of the long-skull people by the broad- 


1 57 

skull people, as discussed by Boas (cited in Smith 
1903:189). Smith looked for further support for Boas' 
hypothesis by pointing out similarities in chipped points, 
tubular pipes, and geometric designs on objects found 
on the coast and in the interior (Smith 1 903:1 90). 

In his own publications, Boas also cites Smith's evi- 
dence as supporting his ideas about a Salish migration 
from the interior. The disappearance of stone flaking, 
the two distinct types of skulls, and the change of 
burial practices from cairns and mounds to tree burials 
all indicated this migration of people into the region 
(Boas 1902, 1905:96). Boas asserted that the migra- 
tion came from the interior because longer skulls "are 
decidedly more [common] with the people of the in- 
terior and of the Columbia River than with the present 
inhabitants of the Coast of British Columbia" (Boas 1 902, 
1940:528). The interior invasion group was "in later 
times assimilated by the northern coast tribes in bodily 
form as well as culture." Making much out of little evi- 
dence, Boas cited Smith's brief work in the Puget Sound 
area as showing "that there was a gradual merging of 
the ancient culture of this area into that of the Colum- 
bia Valley, thus agreeing with the ethnological results 
obtained by Professor Farrand" (Boas 1 903:90). 

Smith was clearly influenced by Boas in presenting 
his model for the migration of people from the interior 
to the coast (Robinson 1 976). His interpretations were 
always cautious and tended to defer to Boas, both in 
the field and in his publications. This best example of 
this is that Smith's letters discuss the great many "in- 
termediate types" of skulls coming out of the shell 
heaps, but the official publications by both Smith and 
Boas characterize the skulls as falling into only two 
types (Smith to Boas, 16 May, 3 June 1898, AMNH). 
Beattie recently summarized the debate on long-skulls 
and broad-skulls, showing that there is little physical 
evidence to support this kind of grouping (Beattie 
1 985). Confusion about this issue might not have arisen 
had Boas heeded Smith's intuition about the difficul- 
ties in creating two distinct "types" out of a great num- 
ber of intermediate specimens. 

1 58 

Smith's collections of skeletons, photographs, and 
plaster casts provided further information with which 
to address the historical relationships between the 
peoples of the North Pacific Rim. While the Jesup 
Expedition was under way. Boas cited this material as 
evidence that the "types of man" living in each geo- 
graphic region of British Columbia were distinct, yet 
historically connected (Boas 1903:74). Smith's collec- 
tions of skeletal remains were left unanalyzed for 20 
years until Bruno Oetteking undertook the project dur- 
ing and after World War I. Oetteking took careful mea- 
surements of the skulls and found several different 
methods of cranial deformation that corresponded gen- 
erally to different language groups of the Northwest 
Coast (Oetteking 1930; see alsojantz 1995). 

With a few exceptions— notably, a short album of 
Smith's pictures showing typical profiles of people from 
the Thompson, Shuswap, and Lillooet communities 
(Boas 1900) and a plate published by Boas showing 
Tsimshian, Haida, KwakiutI, Nootka, Thompson, and 
Quinault "Indian types" of the Northwest Coast (Boas 
1 903:83)— Smith's photographs and his ethnological 
collections were not included in the Jesup Expedition 

Smith's few ethnological publications (Smith 
1 91 Od, 1 91 Of, 1 91 1 ) do not discuss in detail the kinds 
of information he obtained and recorded in his letters 
and notes. The few notes from his correspondence 
presented here, and the lists of names and communi- 
ties in his photograph records, provide some limited 
insight into the communities in which he worked. His 
field notes, now missing, would reveal more material 
of this nature, if they were to be found. 

Archaeologist as Collaborator 
Smith's relationships with the Native communities he 
studied had a profound influence on how his investi- 
gations proceeded and on his final descriptions and 
interpretations of the archaeological remains. Through 
Boas, Smith had connections with James Teit in Spences 
Bridge, Father Le Jeune in Kamloops, and George Hunt 


in Fort Rupert. This network of people around Boas 
gave Smith a unique opportunity for research, while 
limiting him to the areas Boas was interested in. 

In the Thompson River area, Smith was able to draw 
on the excellent community contacts of James Teit 
and Father Le Jeune. His reports from this area are par- 
ticularly rich in descriptions of the functions of objects 
and the history of the sites he visited. Good relations 
with the community produced better archaeological 
results. In his work with George Hunt on the Central 
Coast, Smith gained access to large ethnological pur- 
chases. However, the community's good will toward 
Smith was not always well repaid, particularly in the 
matter of grave digging. 

This tenuous rapport can be contrasted with Smith's 
work in the lower Fraser River and southeastern 
Vancouver Island regions, where he had no such con- 
tacts. His descriptions of the archaeological materials 
from these areas are based largely on his own knowl- 
edge of the finds and draw heavily on information ob- 
tained by Teit from people in the interior. He confined 
his archaeological investigations in these areas to off- 
reserve sites, where he could work on land owned by 
non-Natives. When he did try to excavate on reserve in 
Duncan, he was unable to obtain permission from the 
Native leaders. As he could only communicate in En- 
glish or with his limited knowledge of Chinook, he had 
a difficult time explaining what he wanted to do or 
recording what Native people tried to tell him about 
their traditional way of life. The most extreme case of 
Smith's lack of community contacts was in Lillooet, 
where he chose to excavate burials at night, knowing 
that community members would not have approved. 
This later came back to haunt him, as he could not 
return to the area as Boas had wished. 

Collaboration with people who had long-term re- 
lationships with the Native communities in which Smith 
was interested also opened opportunities for taking 
photographs and making plaster casts. Teit, Le Jeune, 
and Hunt all explained to community members what 
Smith wanted to do and introduced him to people 

who were willing to take part. They provided him with 
detailed information on the families and backgrounds 
of the people he photographed and cast. Notes on 
most of the pictures of people that Smith took on his 
own tend not to include any details about the subject 
other than linguistic affiliation. In the case of the 
Central Coast Salish communities on the lower Fraser 
River and southeastern Vancouver Island, Smith was 
unable to take any pictures or make casts of people, 
regardless of the payment he offered. An opportunity 
to work with people in this area might have provided 
insights into the problem of the historical relationship 
between the Interior and Coast Salish groups. 

Contemporary Reflections on Smith 's Jesup 

Long after the questions of the Jesup Expedition have 
been reexamined. Smith's work continues to be rel- 
evant. Native people today are concerned about the 
relationship of anthropologists to their communities, 
as research continues to raise issues such as repatria- 
tion, local control over cultural resources, and the 
authority of non-Native scholars to interpret Native 
culture. The growing interest in the revival of traditional 
cultural practices is another area in which modern 
anthropologists interact with local communities. 

A particularly important lesson is the difference be- 
tween "access" to a field site and "acceptance" by the 
community of the research being done. Gatekeepers 
like Hunt may not always be spokespersons for the 
community at large, but they ultimately have to bear 
the consequences of the researchers' actions long af- 
ter the fieldwork is over. Whereas Smith could simply 
continue his research without returning to Fort Rupert, 
the trouble surrounding his visit had more serious re- 
percussions for Hunt and Boas, who wished to con- 
tinue living and working in that community. In the case 
of Smith's work in Lillooet, the community members 
who did not protest his grave digging would have 
had to answer to the rest of the community when 
those who had been absent returned. 


1 59 

A second lesson has to do with the frustration Smith 
endured in trying to gain access to Coast Salish com- 
munities to excavate, take photographs, make casts, 
and purchase ritual objects. There is a striking absence 
in Smith's correspondence with Boas of any attempt 
to understand why people were unwilling to collabo- 
rate with him. Being able to engage in a dialogue, as 
both Le Jeune and Hunt had done, may have moved 
his work forward, or at least saved him time and effort. 
However, Smith's and Boas' research strategy of mak- 
ing general surveys of the broad region prevented Smith 
from building the kind of rapport that would make this 
kind of dialogue possible. When the research ques- 
tions are as grand as those proposed by Boas for the 
Jesup Expedition, a team approach, with specialists in 
each community where work is being done, is clearly 

Finally, Smith's work on thejesup Expedition leaves 
the current generation of anthropologists and archae- 
ologists with the dilemma of what to do about collec- 
tions made under questionable circumstances. Repa- 
triation of skeletal remains collected in secret or with 
inadequate permission may now be appropriate. 
Clearly, as regards the house post given by Chief 
Nuxwhailak, the AMNH must honor his request by prop- 
erly labeling it for the public. The house posts acquired 
through Smith's Eburne friend pose a more difficult prob- 
lem. Should they have been collected even though 
Smith and Boas both knew that sending them over 
the Canadian border was against the Musqueam 
people's wishes? Would it have been better to have 
left them to rot or burn, like so many other Coast Salish 
artworks of that era? 

The answers to these questions are not clear. I would 
suggest that the answers lie in the ongoing relation- 
ship between the AMNH and the Native communities 
whose collections it holds. The Musqueam house posts 
are now among the very few photographed or pre- 
served from this region and have been highly instruc- 
tive for the current generation of carvers. A good ex- 
ample is Susan Point's interpretation of some of these 

Musqueam posts for the artworks she created for 
the Vancouver Airport. Access to and interpretation 
of these collections may ultimately be an end that can 
justify the means. Thus, the legacy of Harlan I. Smith's 
sometimes problematic work for the Jesup North Pa- 
cific Expedition can have continuing relevance for Na- 
tive communities and the public at large. 


I would like to thank the American Museum of Natural 
History for the Collections Study Grant I received in 
1 993 to work on the Harlan I. Smith material. Anibal 
Rodriguez was particularly helpful with obtaining the 
correspondence from the accession records. William 
Fitzhugh and Igor Krupnik at the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion offered much encouragement and valuable com- 
ments on the creation and the subsequent refinement 
of this paper. The late Douglas Cole also provided valu- 
able comments and suggestions on the final drafts. 
The University of British Columbia's Travel Bursary sub- 
sidized an early presentation of the paper at the 1 994 
meetings of the American Society for Ethnohistory in 
Tempe. Finally, I thank my friend Lynn Vanderwekken, 
who read endless drafts and who gave me so much 
of her time while I was working on this paper. 


1. The following publications were a direct 
result of Smith's fieldwork for the Jesup North Pa- 
cific Expedition: Boas 1897, 1900; Smith 1898a, 
1898b, 1899a, 1899b, 1899c, 1 899d, 1900a, 
1900b, 1900c, 1900d, 1 900e, 1901a, 1901b, 
1901c, 1902, 1903, 1904a, 1904b, 1904c, 
1 904d, 1 906c, 1 907, 1 909b, 1 91 Od, 1 91 1 ; Smith 
and Fowke 1 901 . For a more complete bibliogra- 
phy of Smith's works, see Leechman 1 949. 

2. Smith's correspondence is in AMNH, Acc. 
1897-27, 1898-41, 1899-3. 

3. Smith's photograph catalogue at the 
AMNH records the profiles of people from Spences 
Bridge as AMNH 1 1646-1 1685 and 22634-22695. 
Smith also photographed sweat houses (AMNH 
42754-42755), rock paintings and story rocks 

1 60 



48/ House post collected by Smith at Musqueam, British Columbia, 1 898, 
given as "part gift" to the AMNH by Chief Nuxwhailak (AMNH 16/4652) 

50/ Grave post called "Laxtot," at Comox, British Columbia, 1 898. Harlan I. Smith, photographer (AMNH 43022) 


1 66 

52/ Map of the Kwakwaka'wakw area in the early 19th century, with Turnour Island and Clio Channel 
shown as the enlarged area (adapted from Handbook of the North American Indians, Vol. 7, 1994) 


53/ Sketch of K'odi's copper by George Hunt, 1 92 1 (APS) 

1 68 

54/ Site plan of Fort Rupert (Tsaxis) as it was in ca. 1 865. Drawing by George Hunt, 1919 (APS) 


1 70 

55/ Fort Rupert (Tsaxis), 
probably 1 865 or earlier. 
Photographer unknown. 
HBCA, Provincial Ar- 
chives of Manitoba 
1 987/3 6 3-F-57/1 
(Nl 1778) 

Each of the following images of Tsaxis shows the site from a different angle. This earliest image (Fig. 55), was 
taken from the east side of the stream mouth and the fort, near the front of House 1 8 (as numbered in Hunt's 
"1866" site plan). Next image (Fig. 56) was painted looking north toward the ocean from the higher ground 
behind the fort. Finally, the third image (Fig. 57) was shot in 1 881 from the west end of Tsaxis, probably from the 
site earlier occupied by Houses 16 and 1 7. 

1 71 

55/ Fort Rupert (Tsaxis), 
probably 1 865 or earlier. 
Photographer unknown. 
HBCA, Provincial Ar- 
chives of Manitoba 
1 9 8 7/3 6 3-F-57/1 
(N1 1778) 

Each of the following images of Tsaxis shows the site from a different angle. This earliest image (Fig. 55), was 
Jsken from the east side of the stream mouth and the fort, near the front of House 1 8 (as numbered in Hunt's 
866 site plan). Next image (Fig. 56) was painted looking north toward the ocean from the higher ground 
' ind the fort. Finally, the third image (Fig. 57) was shot in 1 881 from the west end of Tsaxis, probably from the 
^ite earlier occupied by Houses 1 6 and 1 7. 


56/ Watercolor of Fort Rupert, May 8, 1 866. Artist unknown. HBCA, Provincial Archives of Manitoba, 

1 72 

1 73 

58/ Killer whale mask. Reprinted from Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1895 
(Boas 1897:628) 

59/ Tlingit seal bowl, southern Alaska (SI 23409) 

c R A c r; o ^ ^ 


64. e'e'Bg'es sandy beaches 

65. md'xmExas place of eating 

killer whales 

66. 'nu>£'tnii2«na'/i« round things 

(islands) in front at beach 

67. '♦n€'mfciif»to round things (is- 

lands) in front at beach 

68. ts.'ena'ts/' elderberry recep- 


69. t'SkJwa stiff (oil, curdled 

blood) on rock 

70. d'gwdx'tEHoe' head of pass- 


71. dozlud 

72. 'ya' x'p.'SsdesEla bad smel) 

coming up from beach 

73. dzEq!uxad muddy through 

(clam beach near qa'lo- 

74. ki'nHoaas place of thunder- 

bird on rock 

75. qd'logwia bent beach 

76. dBg-a'WeU iJe'sElag-i'la 

mink's burial place 

77. x'd'ta/a'dze'li's having great 

ebb tide 

78. q.'d'be' 

79. ddap.'aviUeigeoi'tm'laskiod'- 


80. gu'mbEx 

81. laif l^Elc'wa' burnt rocks 

82. k-a'qoLi' canoes meeting on 


83. q!6' gwadiUte' point having 


84. nS'mae old man, i. e. sea 

monster; name of many 
dangerous points 

85. dwi'iJa'la rocky place 

stretching inward 

86. oxut'li's beach at hind end 

87. g-aUtExijdHi'a long behind 

end beach 

88. 5' juoi'te^e'head of passage 

89. aS x'sE'wak'' paddled 


90. g-d' x^difma house site on 


91. hang'- hollow thing at rest 

92. Le'qida canoe building place 

on rock 

93. t'd'z"<«.'d small, round open- 
ing inside 

96. dEx sEma' la grave on sur- 


97. d' LEgEmd'la facing inland 

98. q/wa'ld' ixu place of hiding 

the cedar bark bedding 
of cradles 

99. 'mif x'stEwe' round thing 

(island) in small hole or 

100. dc'wiietwMplaceof rumbling 

noise. Baronet Passage 

101. td'mlElda trembling point 

102. bsklua'd having man-of- 

the-ground, (i. e. a fa- 
bulous people) 

103. Ic-.'sq/iidzifm young cedars 

on surface 

104. k.'ive' dadV having barnacles 

105. d' LEgEtnala facing inlcmd 

106. ma'xds killer whale plsuie ( ?) 

107. dzE'riibax' 

108. nd' LEweg'a'laaf turn back 

to back on rock 

109. md'taleq stripe in hole 

110. ts.'d'yade' having eelgrass 

111. q/d'q.'Ux'Ld'Hu shallow 

beaches at* head 

112. le'dzadEx gwE'yt'm having 

finding of whales 

113. Hnsgwi'lbala island being 

on point 

114. k\'d'k\'E^ndlia young ce- 

dars on side of beach 

115. 6' x'stUesEla beach continu- 

ing through 

116. h!ok!wa put up on edge on 


117. vmxedaU!' 

118. ^maE'mx'he' round things 

(islands) at point 

119. x d'Huap/Ex-dE^i's open 

neck place on beach 

120. tm'wUngEnol deep sides 

121. 'nd'le wd^x'diad up river 


122. tss'lx'mEdzes crabapple 

trees on beach 

123. Lld'dzis alder beach 

124. lEml'alU trembling beach 

60/ Map of Turnour Island, Clio Channel, and vicinity showing Kwakwaka'wakw historical villages ca. 1 840 
and a sample of the site names related to this area (from Boas 1 934) 

1 76 

(AMNH 42756-42766), a fire drill being used 
(AMNH 42769-42771), and a storage house 
(AMNH A2777). 

4. Profiles of people from Kamloops are cata- 
logued as AMNH 42745-42755, 22696-22708, 
1 1691. 

5. The photograph numbers for Baby Rosie 
(7 months old) are AMNH 42801-42805; for an 
unnamed baby, AMNH 42811-42814; for the 
"Kikulie house ruins," 4281 5-4281 6. 

6. AMNH 42825-42826 and 11692-11805. 
Most of the people noted in the photograph cata- 
logue are listed by name and by where the indi- 
vidual is from. 

7. These Heiltsuk people, also all named in 
the catalogue, appear in AMNH 1 1 806-1 1817 and 
42828-42851. The house is shown in AMNH 

8. People from Rivers Inlet are listed by name 
in AMNH 42862-42885. 

9. These skull types are illustrated in Smith 
1903:189, 1904c:90. 

1 0. Photographs of these cairns are listed as 
AMNH 42786-42800. 

1 1 . These people, some named and some 
not, are listed in the photograph catalogue by 
the community they were from and their age 
(AMNH 1 1818-1 1836). 

1 2. An excellent photograph of this encoun- 
ter was published in the Ethnographical Album of 
the North Pacific Coasts of America and Asia {^oas 
1900). Photograph record numbers are AMNH 
42930, 42945, and 43001. See also Mathe and 
Miller, this volume; and Figs. 37-38, this volume. 

13. The woman digging roots is shown in 
AMNH 42947 and 42957 (Fig. 36, this volume); 
the tepee structure is shown in AMNH 42931, 
42946, and 42948. 

14. Pictures of tepees are listed in AMNH 
42932, 42938, and 42941 ; a picture of the sweat 
house appears in AMNH 42943. 

15. Pictures of these excavations include 
those of human remains (AMNH 42928, 42929, 
and 42934) and general pictures of the archaeo- 
logical deposits (AMNH 42927, 42964, 42965, 
42975, 42976, and 42995). 

1 6. The pictures of these posts are described 
in the photograph catalogue at AMNH 42922, 
42923, 42924, 42933, 42936, 42937, 42939, 
42940, 42942, and 42944. 

17. Smith lists the people photographed by 
name and community in AMNH 11853-11903. 

1 8. Potlatch, AMNH 42967 and 42968; gam- 
bling, AMNH 42970 and 42999; women's pot- 
latch, AMNH 42992; totem poles and house posts, 
AMNH 11905-11907, 42969, and 42991; cop- 
pers, AMNH 42984; old man with adze, AMNH 
42986-42990 and 42994. 

1 9. Pictures of the shell middens investigated 
appear in AMNH 42949, 42950, 42952, 42955, 
42956, 42958, 42959, 42972-42974, 42979- 
42983, and 43000; a number of rock carvings 
were also photographed (AMNH 42953, 42962, 
42971 , 42978, and 43002). 

20. Smith's photographs of these tree buri- 
als include AMNH 42951, 42960, 42961, and 

21 . Stocking cites this letter as having been 
written by Boas to Hunt, 3 February 1899. 

22. Some of these burials are pictured in 
AMNH 43022-43026. Smith and Hunt recorded 
the name of the first of these (AMNH 43022), a 
grave post, as "Laxktot" and noted that it was 
"used at potlatch probably as representative of 

23. The posts were photographed by Smith 
and are listed as AMNH 43022, 43025, 43026, 
and 43027. Smith wrote to Boas (using letters that 
refer to a diagram not reproduced here): 

I have tried to get posts that were made by 
Comox people, but I fear northern artists 
were employed and that northern art shows 
in some of them. You will be pleased to learn 
that I secured a story of a flood as an 
explanation of four of the posts. One post (A) 
represents a man who made a very long 
rope of cedar bark. At the time of the flood 
he took his family, friends, and some animals 
in his canoe, which he tied to the top of a 
high mountain by means of this rope. One 
post (C) represents his friends, another (D) 
(having a copper carved on it) his wealth, 
etc, a fourth (E) represents a beaver, perhaps 
a totem or perhaps simply a tame animal and 
another friend who represents the carrying 
aboard of children, etc. . . . One post (F) that 
was gone represented a bird and other men. 
I hope to learn more about these and settle a 
few points, then I will have the full story to 
go with the poles which, as you say, makes 
them ten times as valuable. . . . 

B, now gone, was a figure of a person like A, 
but of lesser power. One of the posts from 


1 77 

another house representing a dead man of 
influence, has a hole in the mouth through 
which a man spoke. I got all the information I 
could regarding each pole, but often I find 
the Indians do not know as well as I. One 
young woman told me the beaver was a 
man, but afterwards I found a more intelli- 
gent person. (1 August 1898, AMNH) 

Of course, from the mythological point of view, 
animals were in a sense human, and could trans- 
form back and forth. Smith's arrogance may have 
cost him a finer understanding of the stories be- 
hind these poles. 

24. See also the photographs and descrip- 
tions of this site in Smith 1 907:323-30 and AMNH 

25. Photographs of objects from the museum 
are numbered AMNH 43033-43041 and 12063- 

26. Smith's correspondence from the end of 
May to the end of August is almost entirely un- 
available from the AMNH accession records. There 
are, however, two letters that Boas wrote to Smith 
in the field in the 1899 AMNH accession records. 

27. Smith's archaeological findings are well 
reported in Smith 1907:367-402 and are briefly 
outlined in Smith 1 900a. 

28. The photographs show a Nisqually man 
and a woman sewing a mat in Stanwood: AMNH 
1211 7-12120 and 121 34. 

29. Some of these burials are pictured in 
AMNH 43103-43105. 

30. For a complete bibliography of Smith's 
work, see Leechman 1 949. Wintemberg (1 940) pro- 
vides an excellent obituary and summary of 
Smith's research. 

Ames, Kenneth 

1 994 The Northwest Coast: Complex Hunter-Gather- 
ers, Ecology, and Social Evolution. Annual Review of 
Anthropology 23:209-29. 

Beattie, Owen 

1 985 A Note on Early Cranial Studies from the Gulf of 
Georgia Region: Long-Heads, Broad-Heads and the 
Myth of Migration. BC Studies 66 (summer):28-36. 

Boas, Franz 

1 897 Thejesup Expedition to the North Pacific Coast. 

Science, n.s. 7(1 45):535-8. 
1 898 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. In The Jesup 

North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1, pt. 1, pp. 1-12. 

Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, 2. New York. 
1 900 Ethnographical Album of the North Pacific Coasts 
of America and Asia: Jesup North Pacific Expedition. 
New York: American Museum of Natural History. 

1902 Some Problems in North American Archaeol- 
ogy. American Journal of Archaeology, Second Se- 
ries 6:1-6. Reprinted in Boas 1940: 525-9. 

1903 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. American 
Museum Journal 3(5):73-l 1 9. 

1905 Thejesup North Pacific Expedition. In Interna- 
tional Congress of Americanists, 1 3th Session, Held 
in New York in 1902. Pp. 91-100. Easton, PA: 

1 940 Race, Language, and Culture. New York: 

Macmillan. Reprint: Free Press, 1 966. 
Cole, Douglas 

1 985 Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest 
Coast Artifacts. Seattle: University of Washington 

Dawson, George 

1 899 Review of Archaeology of Lytton, British Colum- 
bia. American Anthropologist, n.s. 1:765-8. 

Hill-Tout, Charles. 

1978 The Salish People: The Local Contribution of 
Charles Hill-Tout, vol. 4. The Sechelt and the South- 
Eastern Tribes of Vancouver Island. Ralph Maud, ed. 
Vancouver: Talonbooks. Original edition, 1 899. 

Jantz, Richard L 

1 995 Franz Boas and Native American Biological Vari- 
ability. Human Biology 67(3)345-53. 
Leechman, Douglas 

1 949 Bibliography of Harlan I. Smith. In National Mu- 
seum of Canada, Bulletin 1 12. Annual Report of the 
National Museum, 1939-1940. Pp. 8-14. Ottawa. 

Mason, J. Alden 

1 943 Franz Boas as an Archeologist. In Franz Boas, 
1858-1942. American Anthropological Association 
Memoirs, 61 . Pp. 58-66. 

Mason, Otis T. 

1900 /?eweiv of Anthropological Publications of the 
American Museum of Natural History, New York, in 
1900. Science 1 2(308):804-6. 

Matson, R. G., and Gary Coupland 

1 995 The Prehistory of the Northwest Coast. New 

York: Academic Press. 
McGuire, J. D. 

1 903 Review of Shell-Heaps of the Lower Eraser River, 
British Columbia. American Anthropologist, n.s. 

Moss, Madonna, and John Eriandson 

1 995 Reflections of North American Pacific Coast Pre- 
history. 7owr/i<3/ of World Prehistory9i] ):1 -45. 
Oetteking, Bruno 

1 930 Craniology of the North Pacific Coast. The Jesup 
North Pacific Expedition, vol. 11, pt. 1 , pp. 1-371 . 

1 78 


Memoirs of the American Museum of American tiis- 
tory, 1 5. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New York; C. E. Stechert. 
Robinson, Ellen W. 

1 976 Harlan I. Smith, Boas, and the Salish: Unweaving 
Archaeological Hypotheses. Northwest Anthropo- 
logical Research Notes 1 0(2): 1 85-96. 

Rohner, Ronald P., ed. 

1 969 The Ethnography of Franz Boas: Letters and Dia- 
ries of Franz Boas Written on the Northwest Coast 
from 1886 to 1931. Chicago: University of Chicago 

Smith, Harlan I. 

n.d. Report of Operations of Harlan I. Smith on the 
Jesup North Pacific Coast Expedition, for the Year 
1 898. Manuscript. American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, New York. 

1 898a The Jesup Expedition Collection. American An- 
tiquarian and Oriental Journal 20: 101-4. 

1 898b The Natural History Museums of British Colum- 
bia. Science, n.s. 8(201 ):61 9-20. 

1 899a Archaeological Investigations on the North 
Pacific Coast of America. Science, n.s. 9(224):535-9. 

1 899b The Archaeology of Lytton, British Columbia. 
In The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 3, 
pp. 1 29-61 . Memoirs of the American Museum of 
Natural History, 2. New York. 

1 899c How to Take Life Masks. Popular Science News 

1 899d Stone Hammers or Pestles of the Northwest 
Coast of America. American Anthropologist, n.s. 

1900a Archaeological Investigations on the North 
Pacific Coast in 1 899. American Anthropologist, n.s. 

1 900b Archaeology of Lytton, British Columbia. Monu- 
mental Records 1:76-88. 

1 900c Archaeology of Lytton, British Columbia. Sci- 
entific American Supplement 50:20538-41 . 

1 900d Archaeology of the Thompson River Region, 
British Columbia. In The Jesup North Pacific Expedi- 
tion, vol. 1 , pt. 6, pp. 401 -42. Memoirs of the Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History, 2. New York. 

1 900e The Cairns of British Columbia and Washington. 
In Proceedings of the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, Forty-ninth Meeting. Pp. 

1901a The Archaeology of the Southern Interior of 
British Columbia. American Antiquarian and Oriental 

1901b Prehistoric British Columbia. Popular Science 
News 25:14. 

1 901 c The Prehistoric Ethnology of the Thompson River 
Region. In Report of the Michigan Academy of Sci- 
ences, 2. Pp. 8-10. Ann Arbor. 

1 902 Archaeology of Lytton, British Columbia. Records 
of the Post 1:205-18. 

1 903 Shell-Heaps of the Lower Eraser River, British 
Columbia. In The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 
2, pt. 4, pp. 1 33-91 . Memoirs of the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History, 4. New York. 

1904a The Cairns or Stone Sepulchres of British Co- 
lumbia. Records of the Past 3:243-54. 

1904b Shell Heaps of the Lower Eraser River, British 
Col u m bia. American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal 

1 904c Shell-Heaps of the Lower Eraser River, British 
Columbia. Records of the Past 3:79-90. 

1 904d Shell Heaps of the Lower Eraser River, British 
Columbia. Scientific American Supplement 

1905 An Archaeological Expedition to the Columbia 
Valley. Records of the Past 4:1 1 9-27. 

1906a Noteworthy Archaeological Specimens from 
Lower Columbia Valley. American Anthropologist, 
n.s. 8:298-307. 

1 906b Preliminary Notes on the Archaeology of the 
Yakima Valley, Washington. Science 23:551-5. 

1 906c A Remarkable Pipe from Northwestern America. 
American Anthropologist, n.s. 8:33-8. 

1 907 Archaeology of the Gulf of Georgia and Puget 
Sound. In The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 2, 
pt. 6, pp. 301-441. Memoirs of the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History, 4. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New York: 
G. E. Stechert. 

1 909a Archaeological Remains on the Coast of North- 
ern British Columbia and Southern Alaska. American 
Anthropologist 1 1 : 595-600. 

1 909b New Evidence of the Distribution of Chipped 
Artifacts and Interior Culture in British Columbia. 
American Anthropologist 1 1 : 3 59-61 . 

1910a Ancient Methods of Burial in the Yakima Val- 
ley, Washington. /4mer;ca/i Antiquarian and Oriental 
Journal 12{2)A 11-3. 

1 91 Ob The Archaeology of the Yakima Valley. In An- 
thropological Papers of the American Museum of 
Natural History, 6. Pp. 1-171. New York. 

1910c British Columbia and Alaska. In Anthropologi- 
cal Papers of the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, 4. Pp. 298-9. New York. 

1 91 Od Canoes of the Northern Pacific Coast Indians. 
American Museum Journal 1 0(8):243-5. 

1 91 Oe A Visit to the Indian Tribes of the Northwest 
Coast. American Museum Journal 10:31-42. 

191 Of Wooden Monuments of the Northwest Coast 
Indians. Scientific American Supplement 69:248-9. 

1911 Totem Poles of the North Pacific Coast. Ameri- 
can Museum Journal 1 1(3):77-82. 

Smith, Harlan I., and Gerald Fowke 

1901 Cairns of British Columbia and Washington. In 
The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 2, pt. 2, pp. 
55-75. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natu- 
ral History, 4. New York. 



1 79 

Stocking, George W., Jr., ed. 

1 974 The Shaping of American Anthropology, 
1883-191 1: A Franz Boas Reader. New York: Ba- 
sic Books. 

Teit, James 

1900 The Thompson Indians of British Columbia. In 
The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 4, pp. 
1 63-392. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natu- 
ral History, 2. New York. 

Thorn, Brian 

2000 Precarious Rapport: Harlan I. Smith and the Jesup 

North Pacific Expedition. European Review of Native 

American Studies 14(2):3-10. 
Who Was Who in America, 
1942 Vol. 1. Chicago: A. N. Marquis. 
Wintemberg, W. J. 

1940 Harlan Ingersoll Smith. American Antiquity 

York, Annie, Richard Daly, and Chris Arnett 

1 993 They Write Their Dreams on the Rock Forever: 
Rock Writings in the Stein River Valley of British Co- 
lumbia. Vancouver: Talonbooks. 

1 80 


(Jnpubiishec! fviaterials of j^ranz ^oas 
and (jj^orge Munt 

/\ j^ecord of -^-^ Ljears of coliaboration 

Franz Boas, head of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, 
was an indefatigable collector of information on the 
Native peoples of the North Pacific Coast and pub- 
lished many thousands of pages containing a variety 
of information on these peoples. Thousands more 
pages, however, remain in the archives, virtually un- 
known. These unpublished materials are of consider- 
able importance, filling gaps in Boas' published record 
and inviting fundamental reassessments of some as- 
pects of his work and of the culture and history of the 
Native peoples he studied. 

This chapter on Boas' unpublished North Pacific 
materials covers only ethnographic, linguistic, and 
ethnohistorical documents and drawings. It does not 
discuss his material culture collections, photographs, 
and phonograph recordings or his physical-anthropol- 
ogy research. This tighter focus allows a more in-depth 
treatment of materials produced not only during the 
period of the Jesup Expedition (1897-1902) but also 
during the years 1 894-1 942, encompassing the greater 
part of Boas' professional life. 

The greater part of the unpublished materials in 
Boas' papers was generated in the course of his 45- 
year collaboration (1888-1933) with George Hunt. 
Hunt, the son of a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) em- 
ployee and a Tlingit noblewoman, married into the 
Kwakwaka'wakw community at Fort Rupert, British 
Columbia, and lived most of his life there. Boas hired 
and trained Hunt to undertake a wide variety of la- 
bors, including the assembly of substantial museum 

collections. Hunt was responsible, for example, for all 
the ethnographic material culture collections of the 
Jesup Expedition for the Kwakwaka'wakw [KwakiutI] 
and Nuu-chah-nulth [Nootka] areas (Fig. 52). Of inter- 
est here, however, is the ethnographic, folkloric, and 
linguistic research that Hunt performed for Boas. The 
unpublished materials resulting from their collabora- 
tion number perhaps 10,000 manuscript pages. Only 
the most important of the manuscripts that have been 
identified are considered here. 

With one exception— an important document in 
private hands— the manuscripts considered here are in 
the three primary repositories for Boas' papers: the 
American Philosophical Society (APS) in Philadelphia, 
where the bulk of his professional papers was placed 
after his death; the Anthropology Archives of the Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York, 
which contain records from the years 1896-1905, 
when Boas was employed there (Cole 1 985:1 40, 1 64); 
and the Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscript 
Library, where Boas himself deposited a number of 
manuscripts. (See Appendix A to this chapter for a list 
of the individual collections, with the abbreviations for 
them used here.) 

The Unpublished Volume "KwakiutI 

During his lifetime. Boas published 1 1 volumes filled 
largely or exclusively with Kwak'wala language texts 
written by Hunt (Boas 1909, 1910, 1921, 1925, 1930, 

1 81 

1935, 1943; Boas and Hunt 1905, 1906). Boas' pa- 
pers include an additional complete text volume that 
exists in two forms: as a collection of Hunt manuscripts 
at Columbia University (CU-Hunt xiv) and as a type- 
script prepared from those manuscripts, with Boas' 
added translations, at the American Philosophical 
Society (APS-KTT, see Appendix A). Boas evidently 
intended to publish the volume but did not manage 
to do so before his death. Together with the texts in 
Religion of the Kwal<iutl (Boas 1 930) and another 
unpublished set of Hunt's manuscripts that will be ex- 
amined later in this chapter, this unpublished volume 
represents the bulk of Boas' and Hunt's ethnographic 
labors in the final decade of their collaboration. 

Boas' final typescript volume of KwakiutI texts is 
an important supplement to the published record on 
the 19th-century Kwakwaka'wakw. It also provides a 
more complete picture of Boas' ethnographic goals, 
revealing that he was interested in a much wider range 
of topics than had been recognized. 

The volume contains a variety of text materials, 
most of them produced after 1 920. One portion con- 
sists of a series of speeches delivered on various 
public occasions, including those given at feasts and 
at the Winter Ceremonial. A slightly larger section is 
devoted to informal conversations, ranging from 
marital quarrels to a discussion about plant roots be- 
tween two old basketmakers. Hunt transcribed these 
conversations in response to Boas' request that he 
collect some "ordinary, everyday conversations ... for 
instance like anything you might say to your wife or to 
your friends" (Boas to Hunt, 1 5 December 1927, APS- 
BPC; see also Boas to Hunt, 1 8 January 1 928). 

Boas apparently felt a need to add to the range of 
speech genres and subject matter represented in the 
texts he had already edited and published. As he had 
written earlier in regard to linguistic research in North 
America, "Up to this time too little attention has been 
paid to the variety of expression. . .we have hardly any 
records of daily occurrences, everyday conversa- 
tion. . .and the like" (Boas 1 940a:200-l ). Boas' neglect 

1 82 

of the "informal" culture of the Kwakwaka'wakw has 
been commented on (Codere 1966:xvi; Ray 1980), 
but the problem was clearly not absent from his mind. 

The volume also contains a number of explanatory 
and narrative texts that are more typical of Hunt's work 
but that cover specific topics not dealt with elsewhere. 
These include texts on medicines and on methods of 
and customs relating to fishing, hunting, and food gath- 
ering. One of the lattertexts is a brief discussion of the 
taboos observed in relation to the six kinds of fish 
that the Kwakwaka'wakw "treated clean" (a'ikila): 
oolachan, halibut, and four species of salmon (sock- 
eye, king, coho, and dog).' As Hunt's interlinear English 
(in his own orthography) states, 

they Dont let the . . . young women who 
have the first monthly Eat any of these . . . 
fishes ... [if] have the monthly [the] wife of 
the salmon fisher ...[,] the Husband ... go 
carry the suck Eye in[to] the House of his 
Relative for her to Roast it. and they Dont let 
the wife of his Eat some of it whele she got 
the monthly, and as soon as she Done . . . 
then she wash herself . . . and . . . then she 
Eat the Roasted salmon ... if [the young 
woman] Eat the Roasted salmon . . then it 
would Disappear . . . and her Father . . . 
would get into some trouble [ialawafid, 
"get into difficulties"] . . . and when they . . . 
finish Eating the six Defferent kind of fishes, 
then Right away then the woman go gather 
up the skin not Eaten and the Bones and she 
go walk out to the salt water and she throw 
it into the water . . . [and also] the Entrails 
and the Blood on the mat they cut the 
salmon on . . . [to be] washed off . . . in salt 
water, for it is not allowed the Dog to eat 
[anything] that came from the six Defferent 
kind of fishes when it is first caught for . . . 
[the fish] would Right away Desappear. (CU- 
Hunt xiv:4359-61) 

This text is the only one in the Boas-Hunt cor- 
pus to discuss fish ceremonialism among the Kwak- 
waka'wakw in any comprehensive way. It omits, how- 
ever, topics that Hunt briefly touches on elsewhere— 
for example, the prayers addressed to the first salmon 
to arrive and to any salmon after it is caught, or the 
resuscitation of the salmon after its skin, bones, and 
entrails are placed in salt water (CU-Hunt xiv:391 9-33; 


Boas 1921:246, 609-612; Boas and Hunt 1905:307, 
390-2). These short texts show that fish ceremonial- 
ism—that is, the ritual, prayer, and taboos surrounding 
the catching, preparation, and eating of certain spe- 
cies offish and the disposal of the remains afterward— 
was pervasive in 19th-century Kwakwaka'wakw life. 
Given that the ritual and taboos applied to fish that 
were caught and preserved in huge numbers in order 
to provide year-round food staples, these texts sug- 
gest that fish ceremonialism was the most fundamen- 
tal form of ritual activity at this time, carried out daily 
by women in every household. Because of this, the 
texts cast light on other areas of religious expression, 
particularly on the far more spectacular Winter Ceremo- 
nial, which seems to use the spiritual ecology offish as 
its root metaphor (Berman 1991:659-702; 2000). 

Other texts in the volume show that Boas and Hunt 
were interested in the margins of gender among the 
19th-century Kwakwaka'wakw. One text tells of 
women who have taken men's names and positions in 
the potlatch system and who thereby "turn into men" 
("babEbagwExats!edaq"; CU-Huntxiv:41 35-6). Another 
recounts a "sham marriage" in which a chief turned his 
only child, a son, into a "woman on one side" and then 
gave the "woman half of his son in marriage to an- 
other chief as a fictive daughter. Still another discusses 
Kwakwaka'wakw transvestites. 

The volume also contains unique texts on an 
assortment of other topics, including a rare descrip- 
tion of the great feast pipes of the Kwakwaka'wakw, 
which were smoked by as many as six men at once 
(see also Boas to Hunt, 10 March, 23 July 1920; Hunt 
to Boas 9 July, 2 September 1 920, APS-BPC), and texts 
that Hunt wrote in response to Boas' request for ex- 
amples of how children were instructed (Boas to Hunt, 
22 May 1928, APS-BPQ— a reflection of Boas' interest 
in the socialization of children that emerged at the 
end of the 1920s. 

Among the handful of valuable ethnohistorical texts 
in the volume is one about Hunt's trip to the west 
coast of Vancouver Island in the fall of 1 871 , when he 

was 1 7, to buy 20,000 tooth shells (dentalium) for the 
Hudson's Bay Company (CU-Hunt xiv:21 93-290; Hunt 
to Boas, 20 October 1 921 , APS-BPC). This long manu- 
script, which Boas split for publication (APS-KTT:1 1 1- 
3, 1 50-69, 270-5), has several noteworthy aspects. 
Hunt's trip casts light on HBC operations on the coast 
during this time, especially on the company's reach 
into remote areas and the role of Native or part-Native 
middlemen. The account also describes villages and 
peoples that had all but disappeared by the time other 
observers reached the area. Moreover, Hunt's manu- 
script gives a detailed account of the methods of gath- 
ering and preparing dentalium, a valued aboriginal trade 
good that was most abundant on the west coast of 
Vancouver Island. There is no other known account 
of Kwakwaka'wakw dentalium harvesting. Hunt's 
account includes lengthy descriptions of two Kwak- 
waka'wakw weddings, one of them his own (para- 
phrased in Boas 1966:56-61). Finally, the text, along 
with several others in the volume, tells of incidents of 
war between Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka'wakw 
groups and provides other accounts of conflict be- 
tween coastal groups. 

Yet another text tells of missionizing activities in 
Fort Rupert and the more northerly Kwakwaka'wakw 
village of Xwamdasbe', more widely known as Newiti, 
beginning in 1860 (CU-Hunt xiv:2978-3040; see also 
Hunt to Boas, 31 May 1 924, APS-BPC). Hunt describes 
a succession of missionaries who passed through these 
communities with little apparent effect and records a 
series of Chinookjargon prayers and hymns dating from 
1 860. In one of the episodes, the Rev. A.J. Hall, a Church 
of England missionary, and a Catholic bishop, "Bishop 
lemons," battled for souls in Newiti, while the HBC, rep- 
resented by Hunt, competed with an independent 
white trader for fur seal pelts. 

Again, this text is the only known account to deal 
with missionary activities in any detail. The relatively 
detached viewpoint used in describing these activi- 
ties and their effects is important to note. It is interest- 
ing that the Kwakwaka'wakw response to missionary 


1 83 

fervor in those early years seems about the same as 
their reaction to a "sun dance" movement that Hunt 
describes elsewhere, which came north from the 
"Victoria or american Indian" in the 1 840s or 1 850s 
(APS-KM ii;68-70). In both cases, the Kwakwaka'wakw 
seemed willing to try a new form of public ritual but 
did not find the new ceremonies sufficiently compel- 
ling to sustain their interest. 

Hunt personally observed most of the events in 
these accounts, but perhaps the most important 
ethnohistorical text in the volume describes an inci- 
dent that occurred before his birth and that has been 
the subject of debate among historians of the North 
Pacific Coast (Bancroft 1887:274-5; Fisher 1977:51- 
2: Cough 1984:32-49). This incident, which began 
when hunters from theT'ta'lasikwala division of the 
Kwakwaka'wakw killed three HBC deserters, escalated 
into a pitched gun battle between two divisions of 
the Kwakwaka'wakw and the British Navy. Boas asked 
Hunt for "the Indian version of that affair" (Boas to Hunt, 
23 February 1928, APS-BPC). The resulting account, 
which Hunt pieced together from several sources, is 
the only one that tells the story from the Native point 
of view (APS-KTT;191-7; CU-Hunt xiv:3924-43).^ 

Hunt's version, given in English only, generally agrees 
with those of white historians as to the nature and 
sequence of events. Both tell of the murders and the 
concealment of the bodies, the dispatch from Fort 
Rupert of a Native mediator and fact-finder, the visit of 
a British warship to the village of P'atlams on Nigei 
(Caliano) Island, and the refusal of the Indians to hand 
over the perpetrators. Both versions describe the de- 
struction of P'atlams, a further search for the perpetra- 
tors, the destruction of a second Native village on Bull 
Harbour on Hope Island, the death of an important 
chief during the fighting, and the settlement of the 
affair when the Natives handed over dead bodies that 
were supposed to be those of the murderers.^ 

Hunt's version differs from those of white histori- 
ans, however, in many details. The areas of greatest 
disagreement are those of time frame and general 

setting. HBC and colonial government records place 
the events entirely within the summer and fall of 1 850, 
in the first year of Fort Rupert's existence (Cough 
1984:32-49; Johnson 1972). The erroneous date of 
1 848 given by Hunt seems to have originated in the 
letter Boas wrote requesting the account (Boas to Hunt, 
23 February 1928, APS-BPC). Hunt's account also dif- 
fers in setting the British reprisals a full year after the 
murder, but this may be an error in translation from 
his Kwakwaka'wakw sources: the Kwakwaka'wakw 
counted each season, summer and winter, as a year 
(Hunt to Boas, 1 9 November 1911, APS-BPC). Hunt also 
states that the murdered men were two whites who 
deserted a whaling ship named "Bobalits" that had 
anchored near the northern tip of Vancouver Island 
(CU-Hunt xiv:3934). Historical records, however, indi- 
cated that the deserters were three indentured sailors 
from the HBC ship Norman Mohson (Cough 1 984:40- 
1). The reference to a whaling ship may have arisen 
from a memory of another incident. 

The more important differences lie in the perspec- 
tive and in the nature of the story being told. White 
historians have been preoccupied with the question 
of whether colonial and military authorities were justi- 
fied in punishing the entire tribe for the misdeeds of a 
few. In their accounts, the Natives appear as a volatile, 
dangerous, and not particularly comprehensible mass. 
Hunt, in sharp contrast, focuses on the character and 
actions of individual Indians, on ambivalence and con- 
flict within the Native community, and on the conse- 
quences of the Natives' unfamiliarity with the white 
men who would increasingly dominate their lives. 

According to one historian, the white deserters had 
been killed "for refusing to submit to some extrava- 
gant demands" (Cough 1984:41). Hunt says nothing 
of any such demands; he portrays the murderers, who 
were out that morning hunting for seals, as shooting 
the white deserters almost for sport, or perhaps to 
obtain their possessions: 

[T]hey [the deserters] arrived among the little 
Islands about one mile west of plELEtns 

1 84 


[P'atlams] in the morning and they were 
laying Between two Islands in a narrow 
Passage must have thinking about to Haul up 
their Boat into the wood and Hide there that 
Day. and as soon as one of the white men 
Jump ashore . . . three Indian men . . . came 
round a Point East of them not sixty yard 
[away] . . . and Right away tslagE yos and 
yEmgwas take there guns and ts!agE'yos told 
toyEmgwas. you shoot at the man standing 
at the left side . . . and I will shoot at the 
other, said he as they fired, and killed Both of 
the two white men. and the three Indians 
went to the Place and took off all the cloths 
of the two Dead men. and after took Every- 
thing off them and then they carry the Dead 
Bodys and Burry them in a Hollow tree. (CU- 
Hunt xiv:3934) 

The murderers, who were said to be "the two great 
warriors" of their T'lat'tasikwala division (CU-Hunt 
xiv:3936), told no one, not even their closest associ- 
ates, what had happened. Soon, other white men ar- 
rived, searching for the deserters, whom they believed 
to be still alive. A chief, Yakudtas (Hunt: YaqoLas), told 
the whites that no one at P'atlams had seen the men 
or their boat. Colonial authorities later judged the Newiti 
to have been lying (Cough 1984:41), but according to 
Hunt, Yakudtas began to suspect what had happened 
only when one of the murderers began wearing a white 
man's shirt and trousers, which he implausibly claimed 
to have purchased at Fort Rupert. 

In Hunt's account, Yakudias' role is a crucial one; in 
a way, he is the hero. Hunt's story also centers on 
Kwakwaka'wakw ambivalence about warriors. Boas 
states, "Warriors [bafeaA:Va] were generally disliked and 
feared by the rest of the people. They were taught to 
be cruel and treacherous and to disregard all the rules 
of decent social behavior" (Boas 1966:106)." At the 
same time, in an age of intertribal warfare and slave 
raiding, warriors were defenders of the community. 

Yakudias feared the two warriors who had done 
the killings and dared not confront them directly. He 
tricked one of the murderers into confessing the deed 
to his lover, but nothing of substance occurred until 
the HBC dispatched to the scene a Fort Rupert chief 
named Nenagwas (called "Old Wale" by the HBC men; 

Cough 1 984:41 ).Yakudtas confided in Nenagwas, who 
promptly made a full report of all he had learned to the 
white authorities. The subsequent arrival of a British 
man-of-war, demanding that the murderers be handed 
over, precipitated a crisis. One old T'lat'Jasikwala chief 
said, in some disgust, "[l]f I had Power over these two 
Bad men. I would send them off to the . . . man-of-war. 
and let them Do as they like with them" (CU-Hunt 
xiv:3939). But if the two warriors were unpopular, they 
were still important members of the community. The 
warriors argued that they had only done their duty: 
"the Rules given to us By our forefather is to kill the first 
foreigner or stranger we meet" in the territory controlled 
by their division. This argument was accepted by most 
of the villagers. 

lots of the men . . . cryed out we will fight 
against the white men. sooner than let them 
take tslagE yos and yemgwas away, and turn 
our great warriors into slaves, and we know 
well that threat to Burn Down our Houses . . . 
has no meaning. (CU-Hunt xiv:3839) 

Yakudias pondered what the best course of action 
would be. 

"[W]hat can I say my tribes People [?]... it is 
true we Dont know the ways of the white 
People, about the murder and the only thing I 
say [is] for you all to take good care in case 
they carry out thier threat." (CU-Hunt 

As it happened, the British made good their threat 
to burn the village to the ground, but the inhabitants 
had already fled. Still trying to apprehend the murder- 
ers, the British man-of-war proceeded northward to 
another village, at Bull Harbour, where they were met 
with gunfire. The British assumed this to be a hostile 
gesture (Cough 1 984:44), although, according to Hunt, 
the Indians were merely attempting to "frightens the 
Boats away." The sailors landed anyway. 

still the Indians shooting at them and one of 
the Boats midshipman a Very young man 
saw a Indian Runing along in Front of the 
Houses, and the midshipman toke his Rifle up 
and he fired at the Indian. (CU-Hunt xiv:3942) 


1 85 

This act provoked the Natives to shoot to kill. In 
response, the British boats bombarded the village with 
field artillery, driving the residents into the woods. Then 
the sailors destroyed the second village, breaking up 
all the canoes and burning down the houses. 

Hunt ends his story with a series of outcomes that 
are made ironic by his treatment of character. The 
murderers— the two men whose actions had rendered 
their fellow tribespeople homeless and impoverished 
at the onset of winter— escaped arrest and punish- 
ment. They accomplished this by killing two more men, 
a pair of "innocent slaves," as Hunt says, and causing 
the bodies to be delivered to Fort Rupert. "Of cours 
the white men Believed these two Dead men are the 
murderer[s]," who had been killed bytheTlatlasikwala 
to end the trouble. 

As for Yakudlas, the conscientious and percipient 
chief who had worked the hardest to discover the 
truth and avert disaster— he was the only Native killed 
during the entire affair.^ YakudJas was the Native seen 
running along the beach who was shot by the mid- 
shipman Hunt mentioned. His death was the reason 
"why the Indians Begin to shoot to kill." 

The intermediary Nenagwas, whose role in the af- 
fair seems ambiguous at best, did not escape entirely 
unscathed. As he watched while British sailors destroyed 
a second village of his friends and neighbors, he 

was siting in one of the Boats. Dressed with 
Button Blanket, and he was wearing a geqBwi 
or large chief Hat and he Had a Bone with 
abalone shell Decoration Ear Hanger . . . and 
while the sailors Breaking up the canoes 
walas the chief told ts'.agE yos. you are a 
good shot you take a shot at nanagwas you 
shoot at his Head and then tslagE yos lake a 
Rest on a stump of a tree, and he fired and 
the Ball struck na nagwas Ear and cut the 
string that go through his Ear to Hold up the 
Bone Ear Hanger. (CU-Hunt xiv:3943) 

Boas' "KwakiutI Dictionary" 

A second volume that Boas was not able to see to 
publication was his typescript Kwak'wala dictionary 
(APS-KWD). This dictionary, located at the APS, is an 

important linguistic document, and by far the most 
comprehensive dictionary of Kwak'wala in existence 
at this writing.'^ It is based on a huge corpus of mate- 
rial, including over 2,000 printed pages of Hunt's text, 
many more pages of unpublished materials. Boas' 
own not insubstantial linguistic fieldwork, and 45 years 
of epistolary questions-and-answers between Boas 
and Hunt on many points about the language. The 
dictionary was constructed in relation to the text cor- 
pus; almost every entry gives textual citations, often 
numerous ones, from the published text volumes. 

This unpublished dictionary reflects a phonologi- 
cal and morphological understanding of Kwak'wala 
that is far more sophisticated then anything Boas 
published in his lifetime. Together with Boas' post- 
humously published grammar (1947), the dictionary 
shows that Boas, while perhaps lacking the sheer 
analytical brilliance of his student Edward Sapir, was 
nevertheless one of the most talented linguists of the 
first half of the 20th century. 

One sees in these works, however, a certain amount 
of inconsistency, even contradiction, in Boas' treat- 
ment of linguistic structure. Here, as almost nowhere 
else in his corpus. Boas' analysis reveals simplicity of 
pattern within the massive multiplicity of his data. One 
could cite his presentation of such topics as the pho- 
nological structure of roots or the morphophonemic 
changes undergone by stems in various circumstances. 

At the same time. Boas appears at first glance to 
be unaware of or uninterested in systematic pattern- 
ing in other areas of the language— patterning that his 
own data seem to reveal quite clearly. The issue of 
categories within the very numerous "stem-suffixes" (a 
morphological class) provides one example. "Stem-suf- 
fixes" can express, in Boas' words, "denominative, 
predicative or adverbial concepts" (Boas 1947:225). 
Boas rejected the efforts of Sapir and Swadesh 
(1939:236) to classify such suffixes in the Wakashan 
and Salishan languages. The criteria these men used, 
he argued, were "not based on internal evidence, but 
rather on our European classifications." Boas did not 

1 86 


see any "internal evidence" in Kwak'wala either, choos- 
ing instead a general semantic categorization for his 
grammar that, he said, "should be considered merely 
as a convenience designed to give an impression of 
the range of ideas expressed" (Boas 1 947:237). 

There are, however, functional distinctions between 
various categories of Kwak'wala stem suffix. One such 
functionally defined category is that of the numeral 
classifiers (Berman 1990). When counting objects in 
Kwak'wala, numbers and other quantifier stems nearly 
always appear with one of a strictly limited set of suf- 
fixes. The suffixes are divided between "sortal" and 
"mensural" classifiers, the first indicating the shape of 
the object being counted— bulky (round), long, flat, 
hollow, and so on— and the second indicating a mea- 
surement, such as number of days, armspans, or layers 
(Berman 1990:38; see Lyons 1977).^ 

Nearly all of this information can be found in Boas' 
grammar, but it is obscured by his presentation. Boas 
mentions five of the sortal classifiers in a list of "classi- 
fying suffixes" that he states are used in counting ob- 
jects (Boas 1947:279). His phrasing in that passage, 
though, suggests that these are the only classifying 
suffixes used with numbers. In a different part of his 
grammar he again lists the 5 suffixes, together with 1 4 
others, in one of his categories of "convenience" la- 
beled "limitations of form" (1947:240). He makes no 
explicit statement about the use of these 1 9 suffixes. 
In nearly every example he gives, however, the suffixes 
are used with a numeral. Examination of quantifier 
phrases in the Kwak'wala texts reveals that all or nearly 
all of the 1 9 are in fact numeral classifiers. This would 
seem to indicate that Boas understood the rule he did 
not state: these 1 9 suffixes belong to a category that 
is clearly and unambiguously defined in terms of func- 
tion— use with numbers. 

Another example is provided by the locative suf- 
fixes. The stem suffixes of this category are numerous 
and highly productive in the 1 9th-centurY Kwak'wala 
of Hunt's texts. At least three factors define them 
as a class. First, the plural element (-am-) requires a 

following locative suffix. Second, four suffixes express- 
ing various kinds of determinate and indeterminate 
motion are always followed by locative suffixes. Fi- 
nally, there is a set of stems that require locative suf- 
fixes. As it happens, these stems also express the shape 
gender of the object to which they refer, i.e., whether 
it is flat, long, hollow, and so on. 

Again, this information is not lacking in Boas' gram- 
mar and dictionary; it is merely scattered, and difficult 
to find if one is looking for information on locative 
suffixes. Boas does explicitly state the first two of the 
three rules, but only in his remarks on other, nonlocative 
suffixes (Boas 1947:302, 349-50). The third rule can 
be gleaned from the entries for the stems in his unpub- 
lished dictionary. For instance, for the stem' niakw-, 
Boas has the gloss "a round thing is somewhere (sing.)," 
and he further gives numerous examples of words 
formed from these stems using locative suffixes, includ- 
ing'maxwrso (round things inside, i.e., seedsT, makola 
(round thing stationary on water, i.e., island),~/nagwap'e' 
(round thing in nape of neck, i.e., occiput) (APS- 
KWD: 145-6). Although Boas nowhere discusses loca- 
tive suffixes as a group— they are split among at least 
four of his categories of "convenience"— he definitely 
understood the rules that defined them as a category. 

Moreover, it seems clear from Boas' glosses that 
he perceived the semantic patterning common to nu- 
meral classifiers, the shape-expressing stems just men- 
tioned, and a subset of the locative suffixes, the shape 
locatives. The latter refer to the location of an object 
or activity in terms of a feature of its shape— for ex- 
ample, -ba, "end of long horizontal object." Among 
other things. Boas uses a common vocabulary in gloss- 
ing classifiers, shape stems, and shape locatives: 
"round," "flat," "long," "human," and "hollow." These 
are also the five shape classes he lists in his brief 
comments on the use of numeral classifiers (Boas 
1947:279). Other usage indicates that Boas per- 
ceived additional common features of the system; 
for example, the orientation of the object (horizon- 
tal, vertical, upside down, etc.). 


1 87 

In contrast to Boas' presentation of these points in 
his dictionary and grammar, his inquiry into the shape- 
expressing stems and suffixes, as revealed in miscella- 
neous linguistic materials in his papers, was system- 
atic and extensive. He sent Hunt numerous lists of forms 
in English to translate into Kwak'wala, or in Kwak'wala 
to correct or translate into English (APS-KM i:4529, 
ii:l 358-60, iii:4810; APS-KEM iii:384-5; see also APS- 
KM iii: 1584-97; Boas to Hunt, 10 September 1918, 
20 February 1919, APS-BPC). Boas had clearly identi- 
fied the various categories and patterns. What he did 
not do was make formal and explicit in his dictionary 
or grammar what he had learned about the system.^ 

The Boas-Hunt Correspondence 

In the context of the entire Boas-Hunt corpus of writ- 
ten records, the most important set of unpublished 
documents is their correspondence. These letters span 
the years 1 894 to 1 933 and number over a thousand 
pages, split more or less evenly between those from 
Boas' hand and those from Hunt's. 

The correspondence is divided among several lo- 
cations. The bulk of it can be found in the Hunt file. 
Boas Professional Correspondence, American Philosophi- 
cal Society (APC-BPC). Quite a few individual letters are 
scattered through other document collections at the 
APS (e.g., Boas-Hunt KwakiutI Materials, KM). The An- 
thropology Archives at the American Museum of Natu- 
ral History (AMNH) holds a significant body, divided 
between the Hunt correspondence files and acces- 
sion records (designated, respectively, as AMNH-HCF 
and AMNH-HAR in this chapter). These letters are from 
the years 1 894 to 1 905, and most are connected with 
the Jesup Expedition. Finally, a few letters are among 
the Hunt manuscripts at Columbia University (CU-Hunt). 

The Boas-Hunt correspondence is important be- 
cause it documents the two men's published and un- 
published ethnographic record so minutely. The Boas- 
Hunt ethnography of the Kwakwaka'wakw was, as I 
have said elsewhere, an epistolary ethnography (Berman 
1 996). Boas sent his requests for information by letter; 

Hunt sent a letter in return with just about every ship- 
ment of texts, objects, or photographs. Both sides of 
the correspondence are of great interest. 

Just as Boas' unpublished linguistic materials reveal 
that his thinking on several linguistic subjects was far 
more organized and insightful than his publications 
would suggest, his letters reveal much about the na- 
ture of his ethnographic research that is invisible else- 
where. I have discussed this issue in some detail else- 
where (Berman 1 996); here I would like just to men- 
tion the key points. 

The correspondence shows that Boas' research pro- 
ceeded in a logical order that is not obscured by the 
numerous digressions. In the 1 890s Boas was most 
concerned with collecting material culture for muse- 
ums. In the first decade of the 20th century he moved 
to an examination of technology, foodways, ethno- 
zoology, and ethnobotany. By the latter part of that 
decade he had taken up social organization— a sub- 
ject he actively pursued until the 1920s, when he be- 
gan questioning Hunt about "the way the Indians think 
and feel" (Boas to Hunt, 1 9 September 1 920, APS-BPC). 
By the late 1 920s he had become interested in the 
socialization of children (Boas to Hunt, 22 May 1928, 

The letters show that on any given topic. Boas pur- 
sued information in an orderly and systematic fashion. 
The kinds of questions he posed to Hunt were often 
no more than standard anthropological queries on such 
subjects as the use of a particular plant species or the 
possibility of parallel-cousin marriage. But other texts 
were intended by Boas to be case studies to help him 
sort out areas of social organization or religion that he 
found difficult to understand. Boas has been criticized 
for the endlessness, obscurity, and triviality of his texts, 
yet there is little that is obscure in the questions he 
posed to Hunt. 

Hunt's letters are an equally rich source of informa- 
tion. First, they often provide considerable context for 
individual Hunt texts. For instance, one narrative text 
appears in published form with a typically terse 

1 88 


annotation by Boas, "A Koskimo story, recorded by 
George Hunt" (1 943:202). When Hunt transmitted this 
text, however, he sent along the following comment: 

on the 1 9th I send you Page 2097-21 1 1 the 
true whole story about nekweilagEine or 
night-time Hunter, who was towed across 
the ocean By the rotton wood Hair seal. This 
old man negatse told me this same story few 
year ago. . . . and now this time I made a 
special trip to gosgi mox to see this old man 
nEgatse. which told me this story again, and 
he told the story just the way I write it Down 
. . . next I will try and find out as you say 
about the Birds of the upper world. (Hunt to 
Boas, 25 April 1 921 , APS-BPC) 

Hunt's letters also contain ethnographic and 
ethnohistorical information not found elsewhere. For 
instance, they supply otherwise unavailable informa- 
tion on genres of oral literature (Hunt to Boas, 4 July 
1 91 6, 28 February, 1 March 1 91 7, APS-BPS). Together 
with comments Hunt made in texts and in other un- 
published materials, these statements allow recon- 
struction of the taxonomy of 19th-century Kwak- 
waka'wakw oral literature, despite Boas' near-total 
silence on the topic (APS-KM iii:4624; Berman 2000; 
see also Berman 1 991 ;n 7-34). 

A more extended example is to be found in Hunt's 
detailed comments on the history of "coppers," the 
highly valued copper plaques of the North Pacific Coast. 
What started Hunt on this topic was Boas' request 
that he confirm a story regarding a copper recently 
purchased by the Peabody Museum in Cambridge, Mas- 
sachusetts. Hunt wrote to Boas, 

I called the oldest men of Fort Rupert into 
my House, and I Read the . . . storry to them 
about the copper, and the 12 slaves and 
Blankets paid for it. all the old men laughed 
loud, and said ... in all the coppers which 
was Brought Down to Fort Rupert By the 
Haida and tsimshians and kelkatia . . . [the 
highest number of] slaves Paid on thes[e] 
copper[s] ... is one slave a little saanich 
[Salish] girl, and the Highest Price Paid for a 
copper By these People [in those days] is 
from 40 to 86 blankets. (Hunt to Boas, 4 
December 1921, APS-BPC) 

Hunt told Boas that the Peabody Museum's copper 

had been left in Fort Rupert by a Nisga'a man who had 
hoped to sell it there but had been called home by a 
sudden illness in his family. The Fort Rupert acquain- 
tance with whom he had left his copper was unable 
to sell it because it 

have to much Ring in it. what the Indians Dont 
want to Buy. for it shows that it is white mans 
sheet copper for the true native copper have 
no Ringing sound in them for the face of Body . 
. . is all scale or Rough that shows where its 
Been Hammerd By Round stone. (Hunt to Boas, 
4 December 1921, APS-BPC) 

Hunt went on to relate the history of another cop- 
per, a story that illustrates some of the changes occur- 
ring in Kwakwaka'wakw society during the second 
half of the 19th century (Fig. 53). The main character in 
Hunt's story is a man of a certain entrepreneurial bent 
namedK'odi (Hunt'sKlade): 

now this man K!ade is not a chief son. his one 
of the first man who takes for his wife a Pretty 
young women, and take her Down to Victoria, 
and makes money from her. and By this kind of 
Badness he cought up to what the true chiefs 
where Doing in there Potlatches ... But when 
he Had a Row with them they soon let him 
know that he was a common class man. (Hunt 
to Boas, 4 December 1 921 , APS-BPC) 

K'odi gave lavish potlatches from these dubious pro- 
ceeds in order to raise his status. Then he secretly hired 
a Haida man to manufacture a forgery: 

and after the Haida man fineshed, he was told 
By K!ade. to Pretend and Put it up for sale, to all 
the Defferent tribes who use to go to Victoria, 
so this Haida man show the copper to all the 
chiefs, in a feast that was given by K!ade and all 
of the Defferent tribes looked at the copper, 
and of cou[r]se they Each one of them wants to 
Buy it. But they Had no cash or Blankets with 
them, so . . . K'ade asked the chiefs, now if I Buy 
this copper, who will Buy it from me. and give 
me Double the Price I would give for it. and one 
of the chiefs said I will Buy it from you ... so 
Klade. gived the Haida man one Hundred 
Dollers for the. copper. 

K'odi told the chiefs that the copper was an old 
one that had belonged to the Haida man's grandfa- 
ther. "[I]t was so well made," Hunt wrote, that "one of 


1 89 

the chiefs Did take it and Paid K!ade two Hundred 
Dollers worth of Blankets for it." 

But K'odi and his Haida accomplice had a falling 
out when K'odi took back half of what he had paid 
in public to "purchase" the copper. In retaliation, the 
Haida man 

told the chiefs that K!ade . . . Paid him the other 
fifty Dollers for makeing the copper, and that 
K!ade. paid three Dollers and fifty cents for the 
copper sheet from a store ... in the year 1 873. 
and this copper Been sold so meney times now 
the Price is twenty thousand . . . Blankets. (Hunt 
to Boas, 4 December 1921, APS-BPC) 

Materials for the ethnography and ethnohistory of 
other North Pacific groups occasionally surface in 
Hunt's letters. One story concerns the fate of the com- 
panions of a Haida chief, "Cetqon" (or CsdExan as in 
Boas 1966:107), who in 1856 made the mistake of 
visiting Fort Rupert and was killed trying to escape 
the wrath of the resident Kwakwaka'wakw (Hunt to 
Boas, 5 December 1921, APS-BPC; Boas 1966:107; 
Travis 1946:33). Hunt also sheds light on his Tlingit 
mother's home village of Tongass. For example, in one 
letter Hunt describes an occasion on which he wit- 
nessed the construction and use of "the sweat Bath of 
the Alaska Indians" (Hunt to Boas, 28 September 1918, 
APS-BPC). The details Hunt supplies of Tongass Tlingit 
ethnography and history, though few and far 
between, are valuable because Tongass is so poorly 
documented elsewhere. 

Hunt's letters also document, sometimes in con- 
siderable detail, the Kwakwaka'wakw collections he 
made for Boas. Examples can be seen in the captions 
for the exhibit catalogue Chiefly Feasts (e.g., Marcus 
1 991 ). To a lesser degree, the letters document collec- 
tions that Hunt made for George Heye, but the infor- 
mation that would make the letters useful is still scat- 
tered among the Boas-Hunt correspondence, the Hunt 
myth texts associated with the objects, and the ac- 
cession records of the National Museum of the Ameri- 
can Indian. (See, for instance. Boas to Hunt, 5 June 1 906, 
20 April 1909; Hunt to Boas 10 March, 20 November 
1 909, 29 April, 9 December 1 91 0, APS-BPC). 

Census and Maps of Fort Rupert 

In 1910, Boas wrote to Hunt asking for a 

detailed statement about the relationship 
between all the men and women, and the 
houses they live in, in Fort Rupert, and . . . 
the nKinemut [descent group] they belong 
to, and to what riEmemut their wives and 
children belong. (Boas to Hunt, 28 February 
1910, APS-BPC) 

Boas was to repeat this request in various forms over 
the next nine years (e.g.. Boas to Hunt, 4 April 1 91 3, 
12 May 1919, APS-BPC). Finally, in late 1919, Hunt 
complied, leaving out, however, some of the informa- 
tion Boas had asked for and providing instead two 
censuses, one representing Fort Rupert in 1919 and 
one, remarkably, as the community had been in 1 866 
(Hunt to Boas, 18 July, 20 August, 4 October 1919, 
APS-BPC). Hunt also made two pencil drawings to 
show the site plan of the community as it had been in 
each of those years. 

Unfortunately, this set of manuscripts does not seem 
to have survived intact, although the missing pieces 
may eventually be located among Boas' papers. 
Enough of it remains in some form, however, to make 
discussion of it possible. The two drawings are extant, 
and although both the finished censuses that Hunt 
mailed to Boas are apparently missing, a draft of the 
1 866 census has survived in a notebook of Hunt's in a 
private collection.^ A copy of this notebook was kindly 
made available to me by Bill Holm. Two pages of the 
draft 1 866 census, and information about the note- 
book, are in Holm and Quimby 1980:48, 127-8. 

The census, which covers 20 nonconsecutive 
pages in the notebook, lists every inhabitant of the 
Native community at Fort Rupert, known in 
Kwak'wala as Tsaxis. This community was founded 
in 1 850, when the four divisions (i.e., "tribes") of the 
Kwakwaka'wakw then living along Clio Channel 
moved to the recently established HBC fort (Boas 
1921:973-7, 1 966:46; Johnson 1972:8).'° These 
four divisions came to be known collectively as the 
Kwagut, from which name arose the "Kwakiutl" of 
anthropological literature. 

1 90 


Hunt's 1 866 census is organized by the traditional 
"bighouses" and identifies each house by descent group 
and divisional affiliation. The houses are numbered 1 
through 26, and correspond almost exactly to the 26 
houses on Hunt's 1 866 site plan (Fig. 54). 

Within the house, individuals are listed by name, 
descent group, and divisional affiliation and, often, by 
their relationships to others in the house. The individu- 
als are numbered; thus, the inhabitants of House 1 are 
numbered 1 through 27 and those of House 14, 509 
through 558. There are gaps, irregularities, and many 
alterations in the numbering in this rough draft of the 
census, and Hunt's total of 840 for the population of 
Tsaxis may not represent a completely accurate count. 

Hunt's choice of 1866 for his census raises some 
questions. In late December 1 865 the British naval 
vessel Clio bombarded and burned Tsaxis, completely 
destroying it, in retaliation for the refusal of the popu- 
lation to surrender three Kwagui suspected of murder 
(Cough 1984:82-4). According to Johan Adrian 
Jacobsen, who visited Tsaxis in 1881, the Kwagui 
partially abandoned the site thereafter, and only about 
250-300 people remained to rebuild the community 
(Woldt 1977:32). 

Hunt's 1 866 site plan of Tsaxis generally agrees 
with an undated photograph (Fig. 55) that shows a 
long row of Native houses with early house fronts of 
broad, horizontal, hand-hewn planks supported by up- 
right poles. This image was taken from the east side of 
the stream mouth and the fort. It is a composite of 
two photographs, and a section of the village con- 
taining parts of at least two houses is missing where 
the segments were joined imperfectly near the center. 
Otherwise, the visible houses correspond well with the 
western portion of Hunt's "1 866" site plan. 

In sharp contrast, a sketch of Fort Rupert made in 
May 1 866 shows only a few houses standing on the 
west side of the site (Fig. 56). These may be either 
ruins or new construction. The rebuilt village, seen in 
an image from 1 881 , shows a rather different distribu- 
tion of houses (Fig. 57). iVloreover, by 1881 upright 


planks had replaced the older-style fronts in all but 
one of the houses. The census and the "1 866" site 
plan, then, most likely represent Tsaxis before its bom- 
bardment by the Clio. 

A further question about the census is that it is 
apparently based on Hunt's interrupted experience of 
the community as a teenager, recorded 50 years later. 
Hunt was born in Fort Rupert in February 1 854 and 
would have been a few months shy of 1 2 in late 1 865 
(Hunt to Boas, 7 April 1 91 6, 6 January 1 91 9, APS-BPC; 
Barbeau 1 950:65 1 ). Further, his residence in Fort Rupert 
during the 1 860s was not continuous. According to 
Hunt, in 1 863 his mother took him north to her home 
village in Tongass Tlingit territory (Hunt to Boas, 2 Au- 
gust 1920, APS-BPC)." It is not known how long they 
stayed there, but Hunt did witness the "1 864" Tongass 
winter dances (APS-KM v:5552), which could mean 
those of 1863-64 or, more likely, of 1 864-65. Hunt 
may also have lived in the north during 1 868-71 , while 
his father was stationed there (HBCA, Robert Hunt Bi- 
ography:7-8; Barbeau 1 950:65 1).'^ By 1872 he had 
married and settled permanently at Fort Rupert (CU- 
Hunt xiv:2197, 2238). 

Nevertheless, the census should not be dismissed. 
Hunt's writings demonstrate that he was a man with 
an extraordinary capacity for remembering detail, and 
his mother's family, his wife, and most of his friends 
came from cultures in which vast amounts of genea- 
logical, historical, and mythological information were 
stored and transmitted without benefit of the written 
word. It is likely, anyway, that Hunt did not rely solely 
on his own memory to draw up this census. The Boas- 
Hunt correspondence makes it clear that Hunt fre- 
quently consulted Kwakwaka'wakw elders and friends 
in his work for Boas. 

As one measure of its reliability, the census corre- 
sponds at many points with other Hunt documents, 
such as his unpublished list of descent-group "seats" 
(ranked positions; APS-KM vi:31 44-75) and various 
published and unpublished family histories (Boas 
1921:891-938, 951-1002, 1093-1117, 1925:64- 

1 91 

357; APS-KEM iii:342, 391-403; CU-Hunt xiv:1598- 
1619, 1660-70). It also corresponds in some details 
with historical documents such as the 1851 land 
purchase agreement between the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany and the chiefs of Tsaxis (FRP; Curtis 191 5:1 50). 
Caution must be observed, however, as some Kwak- 
waka'wakw names occur widely, and some high- 
ranking Kwakwaka'wakw of the day changed their 
names frequently or had more than one name. Hunt 
sometimes refers to an individual by one name, some- 
times by another. 

Social Information in Hunt's Census 
Despite questions that remain about the 1 866 cen- 
sus, it is an important document for the study of the 
four Kwagui divisions, as well as for the Kwak- 
waka'wakw in general, and it has implications for the 
ethnohistory of the larger region. Among other things, 
the 1 866 census and site plan are a rich source of 
information on 19th-century KwakiutI social organiza- 
tion and have the potential to clarify issues of descent, 
succession, residence, and marriage among the 1 9th- 
century Kwakwaka'wakw that remain subjects of con- 
troversy to this day. 

The census shows the houses as being grouped 
according to division, as another Tsaxis resident, 
Charley Nowell, also recalled (Ford 1 941 :1 3, 49). Thus, 
the nine houses of the K'umuyo'i division are clus- 
tered on the left (east) side of the HBC fort, while the 
nine houses of the Gwitala division orKwagut proper 
extend along the right (west) side. Beyond them in a 
line extend the two houses of the K'umk'u'as divi- 
sion (marked "4" or "Y" in Hunt's drawing) and the six 
belonging to the" Walas Kwagut. The spatial arrange- 
ment of divisions recalls that of the old Kwagui vil- 
lages on Clio Channel (see Figs. 52, 60; Boas 1934, 
map 14). There, the K'umuyo'i town at K'abe' and 
the Gwitala community at Kalugwis faced each other 
across a body of water; the ' Walas Kwagul and 
K'umk'ut'as dwelled together at Adap' on the far 
side of the Gwitala (Boas 1 921 :1 38-9, 1 966:46). 

1 92 

In contrast, the census reveals no obvious pattern 
in the distribution of houses within each "quarter" of 
the village. The order of the houses does not reflect 
the ranking of descent groups within the division as 
given by Boas (1 966:39). When a single descent group 
occupies more than one house, the houses seem placed 
more or less randomly. Thus, in theGwitala quarter the 
houses occupied by the highest-ranking (Ma'amtagila) 
descent group are 1 , 7, and 9. This is contrary to Boas' 
statement that each descent group "occupied its own 
section of the village" (Boas 1 966:48). 

The two houses closest to the beachside entrance 
to the HBC post, 1 and 1 8, belonged to the Ma'amtagi- 
la and Kwakwak'wam, the highest-ranking descent 
groups of the Gwitala and Kumuyo'i, respectively. 
These two divisions, in turn, comprised the higher-rank- 
ing "side" in the dual organization of Tsaxis (Berman 
1991:97-102; Ford 1941:17, 70). House 1, interest- 
ingly, is identified in the census not by descent group 
but only as "awades House." Owadi, the first person 
listed in House 1 , was a powerful figure in Fort Rupert 
and is mentioned by Hunt in a number of contexts 
(e.g.. Boas 1 966:1 90, 256). Owadi is the first chief in 
his division listed in the 1851 land purchase agree- 
ment (where the name is spelled "Wawattie"), and he 
was said to have been the head chief of Tsaxis in 1 865. 

There is no information about the first man listed in 
House 1 8, but the man following him in the census, his 
brother "Nolis" (Nulis), seems to be mentioned in other 
documents. Nulis is the second chief listed in the 1 851 
agreement for the Kumuyo'i/Kwixa division (the name 
is given there as "Noolish"), and by 1 871 he was head 
chief of the descent group owning House 1 8 (CU-Hunt 
xiv:2269). The placement of the two houses calls to 
mind Boas' observation that in Kwakwaka'wakw 
myths the chiefs house is to be found in the center of 
the village (Boas 1966:301). 

In most cases in the census, each house serves as 
the residence for a single descent group, although sev- 
eral descent groups are large enough to require two 
or more houses. The number of residents per house 


averaged 31. The number of distinct households— a 
household, generally speaking, consisting of a nuclear 
family (Berman 1991:66-8; Ford 1941:11; APS-KEM 
111:342, 391-403)— is also rather large. In House 1, for 
instance, the 27 inhabitants consisted of 7 monoga- 
mously married couples and their children, 2 other men 
with 2 wives each, and 1 slave couple. In House 7 the 
36 inhabitants included 8 couples and their children, 2 
sets of divorced or widowed women and their unmar- 
ried daughters, and a single man apparently living by 
himself. These are far in excess of Ford's estimate that 
the traditional Kwagui house held an average of four 
family units (Ford 1 941 :1 1 ; compare Boas 1 897:369). 

Rank, that pervasive feature of North Pacific social 
organization, is implicit in the order in which Hunt lists 
the residents of a house. As noted above, the first 
person listed in House 1 , Owadi, was the highest-rank- 
ing chief in Fort Rupert. In other cases, the rank of the 
individual's name or "seat" (k'wayi) in the descent 
group can often be discovered by consulting another 
unpublished Hunt manuscript (APS-KM vi:31 44-75). In 
cases in which at least three seats of house members 
are known (1 9 of 26 houses), it can be seen that house 
members are listed generally in order of rank. The 
irregularities in rank order probably arise from the 
frequent practice of making a young heir the osten- 
sible rank holder (Ford 1 941 :1 77, 209). For example, 
in House 8 the first individual listed is a man whose 
name belongs to the third seat in theLa'alaxs 'andayu 
descent group; two of his sons have the first and 
second seats, while his daughter is in the fourth seat. 
Given that only two of the men listed first in their houses 
actually occupied the first official rank in their descent 
groups (Houses 4 and 5), this situation may have been 
quite common. 

That the man listed first in a house is always head 
of the house regardless of ostensible rank is supported 
by the distribution of polygyny in Tsaxis. Hunt wrote, 

Everyone of the chiefs of the four tribes . . . Had 
two wives Each they take their first wife who is 
a Daughter of a chief of one nememot [descent 

group] then again he takes another chief['s] 
Daughter who is Belong to another nsmimot. 
(Hunt to Boas, 7 December 1926, APS-BPC) 

To judge by the census, there is some exaggeration in 
this statement, but 8 of the 1 1 cases of polygyny listed 
in the census do involve a house chief. Two of the 
remaining cases are a son and a brother of house chiefs 
who were also polygynous, and these men are listed 
second in their respective houses. 

Another indication that the names given in the cen- 
sus can be a poor guide to the bearer's real position is 
demonstrated by the ostensible rank of the house chiefs 
of the two houses built on either side of the entrance 
to the HBC post, Houses 1 and 18. These men, as 
discussed above, were the highest-ranking chiefs of 
their respective divisions. What is more, each had two 
wives, and each is followed in the census by a relative 
(son or brother) who also had two wives; these are the 
only two houses in Tsaxis where there is more than 
one plural marriage. Yet the names these men held 
belonged to seats 1 3 and 1 8 in their respective de- 
scent groups, and in each case someone else's child 
had the name belonging to the first seat of the de- 
scent group. 

Another point of interest in the census is the con- 
siderable evidence for the nonunilineal tendency of 
Kwakwaka'wakw social organization. Although Hunt 
always affiliates children with their father's descent 
group and there appears a definite tendency in the 
direction of patrilocal residence, the houses frequently 
contain residents connected through women mem- 
bers of the descent group. The inhabitants of House 1 
included, among others, the house chief Owadi, his 
two wives, his son, and the son's two wives, as well as 
Owadi's sister and her husband and the latter's niece 
and nephew. In House 1 1 residents included the chief 
and his two wives, the chief's son and three daugh- 
ters, and the husband of one of the daughters. An- 
other lower-ranking man dwelled in that house with 
his wife, two daughters, the daughters' husbands, three 
granddaughters and one grandson (each daughter 


1 93 

having borne two children), the spouses of the four 
grandchildren, and, finally, five great-grandchildren, who 
were all a daughter's daughter's daughter's children. 

The census further tells us that only about 2 per- 
cent of the population of Tsaxis was slaves and that 
the slave population was divided more or less evenly 
by sex.''' Only one chief, in House 26, owned as many 
as 7 slaves (who are explicitly said to be his). Many 
houses had none, and most descent-group houses 
with slave residents possessed only one. 

The census also contributes to the understanding 
of demographic changes on the North Pacific Coast 
during the 1 9th century. It is clear that severe depopu- 
lation took place, but there is little reliable data. Hunt's 
census and related documents supply figures for Tsaxis 
only after demographic decline had probably been un- 
der way for at least half a century (Gibson 1 992:272- 
7; Cough 1984:80). Hunt's numbers for the years fol- 
lowing 1865 are telling, however: according to him, 
his two censuses showed how the Native population 
of Fort Rupert declined from a total of 840 people in 
"1866" to a community with only 45 adult men, or 
around 200 people in all, by 1919 (Hunt to Boas, 18 
July, 20 August, 4 October 1 91 9, APS-BPC). 

Although out-migration, including the partial aban- 
donment of Tsaxis following its destruction by the Clio, 
no doubt contributed to this decline, the census, to- 
gether with another unpublished Hunt document, 
shows that, as expected, increased mortality and low 
fertility also played an important role. Hunt wrote at 
length about the inhabitants of a single house named 
Gukustolis ("House That Came out of the Sea") as 
they were in 1 870 (Hunt to Boas, 27 April 1 906, APS- 
BPC; APS-KEM iii:391-403). A comparison of names 
shows that these are the people of House 8 on the 
"1866" census. In 1865 House 8, belonging to the 
La'alaxs'andayu descent group, had 73 inhabitants 
and 1 5 households and was the most populous dwell- 
ing in Tsaxis. By 1 870 the number of households had 
dropped to 13, and Hunt mentions only 25 inhabit- 
ants (although those figures may include only rank 

holders and close relatives of the chief, and we do not 
know whether the former inhabitants had died, left 
Tsaxis, or split off to form a new house). After 1 870, 
however, misfortune and disease— chiefly tuberculo- 
sis—exacted a severe toll on those 25 inhabitants. In 
1906 Hunt wrote somberly, "[A]ll of thes People lived 
in that House . . . and now there is only one living in it 
without a wife" (APS-KEM iii:398). 

Boas' Kinship Research 

The census is a particularly good demonstration of 
the synergy of the Boas-Hunt collaboration. The idea 
was Boas', and he had to ask Hunt several times. When 
Hunt finally undertook the task, he did not do pre- 
cisely as Boas asked, as was often the case; he did 
not, for example, list "the relationship between all the 
men and women ... in Fort Rupert" (Boas to Hunt, 28 
February 1910, APS-BPC). As was also often the case, 
he did other things that are of equal interest. He com- 
pleted a much longer census of Tsaxis as it was in 
1 866, in addition to the census of the contemporary 
community that Boas had asked him to make, and he 
further supplied the two site plans.' 

The census and related documents, together with 
the list of ranked positions, highlight the ratio between 
the immense amount of information Boas gathered 
on Kwakwaka'wakw social organization and the 
relatively small amount of his writing devoted to that 
subject— one article (Boas 1 940b) and a chapter in 
each of two different books (Boas 1897:328-41, 
1966:37-76). Boas has frequently been criticized for 
the quantity of detail and the dearth of analysis in his 
pub-lications. Of course, one of his ethnographic goals 
was to collect raw ethnographic and linguistic mate- 
rials for future generations (Berman 1 996:21 8-9). But 
it is increasingly clear that there was more insight and 
analysis behind Boas' collection of data than might at 
first appear. 

In the correspondence, Boas frequently refers to 
the difficult nature of Kwakwaka'wakw descent, af- 
filiation, and succession— topics that have bedeviled 

1 94 


succeeding generations of anthropologists. Boas asked 
Hunt to collect family histories, for example, to aid in 
"straightening the matter out." "[Y]ou cannot be too 
detailed in getting information," he wrote (Boas to Hunt, 
6 March 1 906, APS-BPC; compare Boas to Hunt, 20 
May 1911). In Boas' last comments on the Kwak- 
waka'wakw descent group, published post-humously, 
he offered what is probably the clearest insight into 
the system to be found anywhere. 

The structure of the numayma [descent 
group] is best understood if we disregard the 
living individuals and rather consider the 
numayma as consisting of a certain number 
of positions to each of which belongs a 
name, a "seat" or "standing place" that 
means rank, and privileges. . . . These names 
and seats are the skeleton of the numayma, 
and individuals, in the course of their lives, 
may occupy various positions and with these 
take the names belonging to them . . . The 
numayma is neither strictly patrilineal nor 
matrilineal, and within certain limits, a child 
may be assigned to any one of the lines from 
which he or she is descended, by bequest 
even to unrelated lines. (Boas 1966:50-1) 

It is easy to miss the fact that this short passage is 
the summation of years of analysis of a vast body of 
data— Boas needed the vast body of data in order to 
arrive here. Comparison of this passage with Boas' rather 
primitive analysis in 1 897, in which he argued that the 
Kwakwaka'wakw descent group showed a patrilin- 
eal form of organization under the influence of the matri- 
lineal societies to the north (Boas 1 897:334-5), shows 
how far he had traveled in the intervening years. 

Another way to look at Boas' body of data on 
Kwakwaka'wakw social organization is to focus on 
its unusual form. Although later generations of North 
American anthropologists regarded Boas as having little 
worthwhile to say about social organization, the un- 
published documents suggest that he might better be 
regarded as a pioneer. The lengthy family histories were 
intended as case studies. The censuses of Fort Rupert 
are virtually unique for their era. (Gifford 1 926 is an 
exception but was obtained somewhat later.) Boas 
also obtained from Hunt lengthy biographical accounts, 

including one that examined the potlatch and the 
chiefly role in terms of one man's life (Boas 1 925:1 1 2- 
357) and another, the socialization and education of a 
Kwakwaka'wakw woman (CU-Hunt xiv:41 37-45, 
4198-205, 4250-3, 4327-35; APS-KM iii:41 45-83, 
41 89-98, 4206-50, 4283-326). We have already noted 
the unpublished texts examining the margins of gen- 
der among the 1 9th-century Kwakwaka'wakw. These 
materials are all the more impressive when we con- 
sider what is to be found in other ethnographic publi- 
cations of the time. 

Boas did not stumble on these ethnographic no- 
tions blindly; they clearly arose out of a principled and 
creative thought process. Of course, it was George 
Hunt who made it possible for Boas to collect such 
vast amounts of detailed information on such (for the 
time) unusual topics. But it was Boas who thought of 
collecting this information, and who pursued it through 
Hunt in an organized and systematic fashion. 

The Social Organization and the Secret 
Societies of the Kwai<iutl Indians 

Boas' 1 897 monograph The Social Organization and 
the Secret Societies of the Kwal<iutl Indians {designated 
here as SOSSKwt) is one of his few major analytical or 
summarizing works on the Kwakwaka'wakw. The only 
other major publication covering similar ground is a 
posthumous volume, Kwakiutl Ethnography (1 966), 
which was assembled by Helen Codere from a combi- 
nation of published sources and manuscripts in prepa- 
ration at the time of Boas' death in 1 942. 

The 1 897 monograph remains Boas' most signifi- 
cant and primary statement on the Winter Ceremonial 
complex of the 1 9th-century Kwakwaka'wakw, and 
particularly on the relation between the ceremonial and 
its material culture and mythology. Boas' only other 
significant discussion of the Winter Ceremonial is in the 
two chapters in KwakiutI Ethnography {] 966: 1 71 -298; 
see also pp. 400-22) that rely heavily on extracts from 
and summaries of the 1897 volume (especially 


1 95 

George Hunt's Contribution to SOSSKwl 
The unpublished materials in Boas' papers have steadily 
expanded our understanding of the magnitude of 
George Hunt's contribution to Boas' work (Berman 1 994, 
1996, n.d.Jacknis 1991, 1992). What they show about 
his labors in relation to Boas' first important mono- 
graph is no exception. 

The title page of SOSSKwl states, "Based on Per- 
sonal Observations and on Notes Made by Mr. George 
Hunt." In the preface to the volume. Boas goes further: 

The great body of facts presented here were 
observed and recorded by Mr. George Hunt, 
of Fort Rupert, British Columbia, who takes 
deep interest in everything pertaining to the 
ethnology of the KwakiutI Indians and to 
whom I am under great obligations. I am 
indebted to him also for explanations of 
ceremonials witnessed by myself, but the 
purport of which was difficult to understand, 
and for finding the Indians who were able to 
give explanations on certain points. (Boas 
1897:31 5) 

These acknowledgments, while generous, do not 
supply a complete picture of Hunt's contributions to 
the volume. Hunt played an important role in at least 
three areas that Boas does not address directly. First, 
Hunt was a crucial figure in the acquisition of several 
collections of Kwakwaka'wakw ceremonial objects 
that are illustrated and discussed in the book, includ- 
ing the collection used most extensively— that of Johan 
Adrian Jacobsen. Jacobsen made the collection with 
Hunt's assistance in 1881-82 for the Berlin Museum 
fur Volkerkunde, then the Royal Ethnological Museum 
(Berman n.d.; Cole 1 985:60-7; Jacknis 1991:181)."^ 

Second, Hunt made possible in every way Boas' 
"personal observations" of the 1 894-95 ceremonial 
(Berman n.d.; Rohner 1969:177-87). Hunt fed and 
housed Boas during the ceremonial; he advised Boas 
how to go about his work; he searched out and pur- 
chased objects for the collections Boas was making; 
he took Boas to feasts that were occurring at all times 
of the day and night; and he explained and interpreted 
for Boas constantly. 

The third area in which Hunt made a major un- 
acknowledged contribution to this volume is in its 
actual writing, a role that goes far beyond what we 
would today understand by the making of "notes" or 
the recording of "facts." Hunt, for example, provided 
much if not all of the myth material that explains the 
origin of the various dances and masks of the Winter 
Ceremonial (APS-KM i:31 -67, 100-10, 180-9,212-24; 
Hunt to Boas, 20 March, 23 April, 9 July, 21 Octo- 
ber, 15 January 1895, AMNH-HAR). This is not sur- 
prising, given Hunt's subsequent labors on behalf of 
Kwakwaka'wakw oral literature. 

What is less expected is that Hunt's English-lan- 
guage manuscripts functioned as the first draft of the 
chapter of the book that purports to present Boas' 
personal observations of the 1 894-95 Winter Ceremo- 
nial (Boas 1897:544-606). Boas, in fact, prefaces this 
chapter by saying, "I will describe the ceremonial as it 
actually took place and so far as I witnessed it" 
(1897:544-5)." Now, Boas did indeed witness these 
events, but the descriptions we have are largely from 
Hunt. Hunt made use of materials supplied to him by 
Boas, but he elaborated on and expanded them greatly; 
in one place he states that he wrote out 1 5 pages for 
a single page of Boas' notes (Hunt to Boas, 1 6 Febru- 
ary, 9 March 1 896, APS-BPC). 

Hunt's first drafts of this chapter of SOSSKwl sur- 
vive only as fragments scattered through one of the 
manuscript collections under Boas' name at the APS 
(APS-KM i, xi). The pages, when brought together, con- 
sist of two sections of text. The first, 1 2 pages in length, 
bears Hunt's page numbers 1 8-29 (APS-KM i, vi). There 
is some difficulty with the page numbering of the sec- 
ond section, but it appears to consist of Hunt's pages 
35-56, minus pages 51-2, a total of 20 pages. 

These materials are not to be found in any pub- 
lished or unpublished list of Hunt manuscripts (cf Boas 
1921:1469-73). The handwriting and transcription 
practices clearly date them to the mid-1 890s. The 
Boas-Hunt correspondence provides more precise clues 
to the date of the manuscripts. They are most likely 

1 96 


those referred to by Hunt in letters sent during 1 896. 
Hunt writes, "now I am Writing out the Dances you;v 
seen While you was here" (Hunt to Boas, 4 January 1 896, 
APS-KM vi; see also Hunt to Boas, 1 6 February, 9 March, 
30 April, 9 July 1 896, APS-BPC). 

The first set (1 2 pages handwriten) corresponds 
closely to pages 577-81 of SOSSKwI. The first 7 pages 
of the second set correspond to pages 586-89 of 
SOSSKwI.^^ The remainder includes a passage that was 
not reproduced in SOSSKwI but that appears in a later 
volume (Boas and Hunt 1905:484-91). The passage 
describes an episode that is partially summed up in 
one sentence in the third paragraph on page 589: "In 
the evening a feast was given, the blankets were dis- 
tributed, and shortly after the beginning of the feast 
thehiimats 'a Yaqois came in and danced three times." 

The gaps in page numbering indicate that pages 
are missing from the Hunt manuscripts. Judging from 
the correspondence, several other sections of manu- 
script are missing as well. On the last page of extant 
manuscript (p. 56), Hunt writes, "now after this I will 
write about what the Koskimo Done on the 25th of 
Nov" (KM vi). In Boas' published version those events 
are described in 12 pages of typeset prose (Boas 
1897:589-600). Together with another 6 published 
pages, describing the final events of the 1 894-95 Win- 
ter Ceremonial, this would equal at least another 40 
handwritten pages of Hunt manuscript. All in all, about 
1 00 pages of Hunt's draft of this chapter are missing. 

Comparison of an extended section of Hunt's manu- 
script with Boas' published version shows how closely 
Boas followed Hunt's first draft. Hunt wrote: 

all the time the new Hamadga [Hamats'a] 
Was Dancing. liigaxstaaq Halding a copper in 
his Hand and a woman came out With a strip 
of calico about 40 yards in length this 
women name is ayaga. she toked the calico 
all Round the fire, and the Hamadga Danced 
Between the fire and the calico, he Wore the 
Balsam Pine Branch and Danced the two first 
song with it on. and after the singers sang 
the two songs, then he iii.abala came foward 
and asked the singers to wait awhile and not 
to sing, and he asked tdgumalis to come and 

make a speach and he tdgiimali's came and 
stand up at the Rear End of the House, and 
he said, yes you my children yes I for I am 
your Box your mind for I Keep all the old 
sayings in my Head and I have seen thing in 
my youngs Days that you young men never 
have Heard of and seen, and it is good to 
have one old man to show you all this 
things, now I am going to this Hamadga and 
ondress, the Dress that was Put on him By 
the Bax-baqalanoxsiwi for I am he, said he the 
old man. and he Walked up to the Hamadga 
and toked the Head Ring off first and next he 
take off the neck Ring off and the arms and 
legs Ring, then he gived the Rings of Balsam 
Pine Branch to Lamaia and he the old man 
asked nawiikala to Bring the Blanket and the 
Red cedar Bark, then he nawakala Went Back 
into a Bed Room for about one minut and he 
Brought all that the old man asked for, and 
he nawakala gived the Blue Blanket first to 
the old man. and he Put the Blanket on to the 
Hamadga and again the old man toked the 
neck Ring and put it on to the neck of the 
Hamadga and again the old man toked the 
apron and Put that on and next the arms and 
legs Ring all of Red Ceder Bark Rings then 
last of all he toked the Eagles Down and Put 
it on to the Red ceder Bark Dress of the 
Hamadga. then the old man togiimalis step in 
front of the Hamadga and said it is all Done. 
(APS-KM i:24-5) 

For this passage, Boas has: 

After this song LoXuaxstaak" arose in the rear 
of the house, holding a copper, and a 
woman named Ayaqa, brought a strip of 
calico about 40 yards long, which was 
unrolled and spread in a circle around the 
fire. . . . Then the singers began the second 
song: . . .The hamats'as were dancing be- 
tween the calico and the fire in a squatting 
position. Their attendants tried to pacify 
them with cries of "hoip," and the women 
danced for them. Then ALabala stepped 
forward and asked the singers to wait before 
beginning the third song. He called his 
speaker, Toqoamalis, who took his position 
in the rear of the house, and addressed the 
people as follows: 

"Yes, my children, I am the storage box 
of your thoughts, for I remember all the old 
tales, and in my young days I have seen 
things which you young people never heard 
of. It is good that there is one old man who 
can show you all these things. Now I will go 
to this hiimatsa and take off the dress that 
BaxbakualanuXsTwae put on him." He 


1 97 

stepped up to the hamatsa, who was 
standing in the rear of the house, and took 
off his head ring first, then his neck ring. He 
cut off the arm rings and anklets and gave 
them to LamaLa. Then he asked Nauaqala to 
bring blankets and ornaments made of red 
cedar bark. Nauaqala went to fetch them 
from his bedroom, and when he had returned, 
Toqoamalis proceeded to dress the hiimats'a. 
He put the blue blanket over his back and 
cedar bark ornaments on his head, his neck, 
his arms, and around his ankles. He also tied 
a dancing apron around his waist and 
strewed eagle down on his head. Then he 
said, "It is done." (Boas 1897:578-79) 

There are, of courses, differences in the two pas- 
sages. Boas made revisions to Hunt's Kwak'wala 
transcription, and, as is obvious, he divided Hunt's draft 
into paragraphs, corrected Hunt's spelling and gram- 
mar, and, in places, altered Hunt's wording. Boas also 
changed the sequence of some elements in his ver- 
sion. For example, while Hunt grouped the Hamats a's 
four songs in an earlier place in the text, Boas scat- 
tered the songs throughout, with one occurring in this 
very passage (omitted at ellipsis). 

Finally, Boas omitted or misconstrued some infor- 
mation in Hunt's text. Hunt, for example, quotes 
Togiimalis as saying, "now I am going to thisHamadga 
and ondress, the Dress that was Put on him By the 
Baxbaqalanoxsiwi for I am he." The old man, for that 
moment, is assuming the roleofBaxwbakwalanuxsiwe', 
theHamats'a's initiating spirit. Boas leaves this identifi- 
cation out. In another passage. Hunt writes about a 
man who angrily tears up a blanket, which he deemed 
an insulting gift, and throws it in the fire. The man says, 
"now you that set on the fire take that to Keep you 
warm" (APS-KM i:28-9). The insulted man is referring to 
K'waxtJala, the "One-Sitting-on-the-Fire," a being to 
whom food and prayers were given at Kwak- 
waka'wakw feasts (Boas 1921:1 332). Boas altered 
Hunt's words to, "Now you who saw it in the fire take 
good care to keep it warm" (Boas 1897:580), prob- 
ably because he did not yet know about this being. 

Despite the numerous minor differences, the over- 
all similarity of these passages is clear. More of these 

early manuscript pages may yet be found among Boas' 
papers. To determine the total portion of the volume 
drafted by Hunt from Boas' notes may no longer be 
possible at this date, but Hunt's role was clearly much 
greater than had been thought. 

Hunt's Revisions and Corrections to Social 

Hunt's involvement with SOSSKwl6\6 not end with 
its publication or even with the appearance several 
years later of the corrected Kwak'wala texts of a num- 
ber of the Winter Ceremonial songs, and the Kwak'wala 
portion of several myth and historical narratives in the 
volume (Boas and Hunt 1905:247-9, 271-8, 354-5, 
41 8-24, 447-84). Over 20 years later. Hunt wrote to 
Boas, saying, "now about the Book with the many 
illustrations [i.e., SOSSKwf\, there are so many mistakes 
. . . that I think should Be Put to Rights Befor one of us 
Die" (Hunt to Boas, 7 June 1 920, APS-BPC). Boas replied 
that he was "very anxious" to have the mistakes cor- 
rected and asked Hunt to begin (Boas to Hunt. 22 July 
1920, APS-BPC; see also Hunt to Boas, 4 February, 21 
May 1 920, APS-BPC; APS-RMC). 

Hunt began to produce the corrections to 
SOSSKwl in August or September 1 920, consulting 
Kwakwaka'wakw elders in order to do so (Hunt to 
Boas, 25 September, 1 4 October 1 920, APS-BPC; APS- 
LKM:2-3). He generated two batches of revisions to 
the volume, 109 pages during 1920-21 and another 
54 pages in 1924, and then laid the task aside for 
seven years (Hunt to Boas, 1 4 January, 25 April 1 921 , 
1 January, 31 May 1924, APS-BPC; APS-KM iii:1679; 

In early 1 931 , at Boas' request. Hunt took the task 
up once again (Hunt to Boas, 1 7 February 1 931 , APS- 
BPC). From that point until his death in September 1 933, 
Hunt was entirely occupied with the revisions (J- 
Cadwallader to Boas, 6 September 1 933, APS-BPC). 
During this period, he produced over 670 pages of 
additional corrections and comments on the volume 
(Hunt to Boas, 17 February 1931, APS-BPC; Hunt to 

1 98 


Boas, 27 July 1933, KM v;J. Hunt to Boas, 26 Septem- 
ber 1933, APS-BPC). Altogether, Hunt's revisions to 
SOSSKwl amount to over 800 pages of manuscript, 
which today are to be found in one of the unindexed 
masses of Boas' Kwakwaka'wakw papers at the APS 

The method by which these revisions were pro- 
duced differed from what was typical of the Boas- 
Hunt collaboration. Here, Boas did not prompt Hunt 
with specific questions. Rather, he told Hunt to "sim- 
ply mark the page [of the published volume] and then 
say what you want to say about it" (Boas to Hunt, 22 
July 1 920, APS-BPC). Hunt corrected and added to the 
text at his own initiative. As he stated, "I see that I got 
to go all through the Book, to do it Rightly, some times 
I got to write some other story that Belong to it, to 
Explain the meaning of it" (Hunt to Boas, 1 7 February 
1931, APS-BPC). In consequence. Boas' own research 
agenda has less of an imprint here than elsewhere in 
Hunt's work. This renders these materials more hetero- 
geneous, but perhaps even more interesting. 

Many of the revisions are, in fact, corrections to 
the Kwak'wala of SOSSKwl. As much as a third of the 
manuscript pages was copied from the original text 
with the addition only of new transcriptions of 
Kwak'wala names and other words. Boas discarded 
those pages, preserving a record of the corrections. 

Hunt also revised songs and texts in the volume 
according to the vastly improved standards that he 
and Boas had achieved by the later decades of their 
collaboration. (Hunt produced two or more slightly 
different corrected versions of some songs and 
texts.) There remain, however, continuing problems 
with Hunt's notation of glottalized versus non- 
glottalized sonorants (see Berman 1994:494). Boas 
generally corrected these as he compiled Hunt's new 

Most of Hunt's revisions, though, are to the ethno- 
graphic content of the volume. These revisions, largely 
in English, include correction, expansion, and addition 
of numerous points of ethnographic and ethnohistorical 

detail. The very first corrections Hunt transmitted were 
to the identifications of the objects illustrating 
SOSSKwl. As Boas stated in an unpublished article. 

The explanations of these specimens given 
at that time [1894] were based upon 
information given to me by the Indians from 
whom I purchased the specimens, in part 
corroborated by inquiries among others, 
although these were difficult on account of 
secrecy involved in the purchase of the 
masks. The specimens collected by Mr. 
Jacobsen were explained on the basis of 
illustrations which Prof. Albert Crunwald of 
Berlin had the kindness to make for me and 
which I showed to the Indians. I did not 
succeed always in finding the owner of the 
objects in question, so that there remained 
some uncertainty in regard to the right 
interpretation of the objects. ... I requested 
[George Hunt] particularly to find the owners 
of the specimens illustrated in my report and 
to obtain further information in regard to the 
objects. In some cases his information differs 
from the explanation previously given, while 
in other cases it is more specific than what I 
was able to present in my previous report. 

Hunt made a kind of catalogue of the illustrations 
of the volume giving "the right name of the masks on 
the Book and who there Belong to," with the page and 
figure number from SOSSKwl and a paragraph or more 
of English description. The catalogue of nearly 50 manu- 
script pages covers most of the illustrations in the book 
of Kwakwaka'wakw material (APS-KM iii: 1877-93, 
1 904-20, 1 927-39). "|T]his is all that I know," said Hunt, 
"and what I Dont Know I pass them" (APS-KM iii: 1 239). 

Hunt's later batches of revisions included more ex- 
tended commentary on some of the masks and danc- 
ers. One example is Hunt's statement about the 
nulamai, a type of dancer. In the original. Boas wrote. 

The noonLHmala (pi. of nuiamaf) or "fool 
dancers" [a particular Winter Ceremonial 
dance] ... are initiated by a fabulous people, 
the Ai asimk-, who are believed to live near a 
lake inland from i iXsTwae. Their village is 
believed to be on an island floating on the 
lake. In olden times a man went beaver 
hunting and fell in with these people. He 
came back exhausted and "crazy." . . . From 
him the nooiiLFimala are said to derive their 
origin. (Boas 1 897:468) 


1 99 

Hunt's comment on this passage was as follows: 

the iiLlESEmk or Back of the woods living tribe . 
. . use to live eat [at] xwEtes which are called 
xuyiilas. and xhe. gosgemox tribe use to live eat 
[at] gose on the south of cape scot, and the 
gosge^mox tribe went to war against the 
xuyiilas tribe, and the gosgemox on the second 
war Drove the xuyiilas in [to] the wood . . . and 
from that time the gosgemox tribe lived at 
xwEtcs. so the xuyiilas is not a spirit But a 
common [secular] People who use to come and 
Halibut fishing at Place called qlbides or Patch on 
the Beach . . . about one Mile and Half East of 
ilEx-sewe . and as soon as the ailESEmk People 
sees a strangers canoe comeing then they 
Paddle ashore and Run away to their Home at a 
large lake long Ways back of ilEx-sewe. which 
supposed to Have floating Island with their 
Houses Built on it. these what the Kwagut tribes 
calls HilESEink. are Really the xuyiiliis. and I was 
told that they are the first People that the 
wolves give the nuniEm or ail turn craze Dance 
to [a Winter Ceremonial of some of the northern 
Kwakwaka'wakw tribes] . . . and from the 
xuyiiliis tribe, the gosgemox got the Dance 
[ceremonial] and from the gosgemox the 
nEqamgElisEia got it. and from them the 
LlaUHseqwiilii got the nunlnm Dance [ceremo- 
nial], and from the [time of the] wolves the 
nunlm [ceremonial], and nulEmalH. or fool Dance 
was always kept togather. (APS-KM v;5601-2) 

There are a number of notable points in Hunt's com- 
mentary. Among other things, it both agrees with and 
adds to the scanty information available about the 
Xuyalas division of the Kwakwaka'wakw, a group that 
was already extinct by the time of Boas' first fieldwork 
and is not even mentioned in his comprehensive list of 
Kwakwaka'wakw divisions and descent groups (Boas 
1966:38-41, 44). Hunt also gives a fuller account of 
the historical spread of the nunlam dance ceremonial 
than is to be found elsewhere (Boas 1966:400-1). 

Another point of interest is the nature of the dis- 
agreement between Boas' and Hunt's versions of the 
origin of the nunlam dance. To assume that Hunt's 
identification of the"aL!ESEmk" as theXuyaias division 
is historically correct does not require that we reject 
Boas' identification of the same as a population of spir- 
its. One of the characteristics of 19th-century Kwak- 
waka'wakw ceremonialism was the possession by 

each descent group of an origin myth that, among 
other things, specified the origin of the ceremonies 
owned by that descent group's noble lines. These ori- 
gin myths, while distinct in many details of content, 
are formally quite similar, and Boas' brief synopsis of 
the origin of the fool dancers is in consonance with 
the general pattern. The relationship between Hunt's 
account and Boas' version (which Boas may well have 
obtained through Hunt) might also therefore count as 
evidence for how historical knowledge both coexisted 
with and was assimilated into the formal patterns of 
myth and ceremony. 

Another example of the type of information in these 
revisions is Hunt's commentary on the mask illustrated 
on page 628 of SOSSKwl (Fig. 59). This mask was de- 
scribed by Boas as a "Laolaxa mask representing the 
killer whale . . . Collected by A.Jacobsen." Hunt stated 
that the object was, rather, a killer whale mask be- 
longing to the more important t 'set 'seka (Winter Cer- 
emonial) dance complex, and he distinguished between 
ihet'set'seka killer whale dance, thed/a 'walaxa killer 
whale dance (the one to which Boas refers in the origi- 
nal), and the "Baxus Hamaxalal or summer time Keller 
whale Dance." 

Hunt further asserts that the mask illustrated was 
used at the initiation of his own wife ("Llalelelakw or 
spouter of the House, who Belong to the ya'ex-agnme 
descent group"). This statement seems eminently be- 
lievable, given the extent of Hunt's involvement in 
Jacobsen's collecting activities; Hunt could well have 
been the means by which the mask came into 
jacobsen's hands. Hunt goes on to supply an account 
of the event in which this mask was used: 

she [Hunt's wife] Desappeared on the Beach 
while she was Degging for clams, where they 
found all her cloths Piled up . . . and she stay 
away one whole month. (APS-KM v:5613-4) 

New songs were composed for Hunt's wife and re- 
hearsed. The people assembled, 

and then the killer whale mask or 
hEmaxaliiEmi come out of the secret Room 



and [went] spouting around the fire, with fin 
on his Back untill he go up to the Door, then 
the user Pulled the string and the fin stand up 
Right, and it Divide apart and the face open 
out and the tail went up and Down, and it 
keep that way untill it went into the secret 
Room, then Llaleklakw came out of the 
secret Room and Danced with her two 
Hands Hiden under her Blanket then after her 
song Ended she went Back in the secret 
Room again she wear all Pure Red loose 
[cedar bark] neck and head Ring. (APS-KM 
v:5614; see also APS-KM iii:1938) 

Hunt's revisions to SOSS/Cw/ contain not just addi- 
tions of detail to the ethnographic record but also 
commentary that, especially in conjunction with other 
Hunt materials, suggests broader reinterpretations of 
the Winter Ceremonial and other aspects of 1 9th-cen- 
tury Kwakwaka'wakw cosmology and culture. For 
example, on page 41 8 of SOSSKwl Boas discusses the 
descent-group ancestors' acquisition of winter dances 
in myth. Hunt's amplifications place those events within 
a larger framework of Kwakwaka'wakw cosmogony. 

Hunt states that the very first winter dance, an event 
of major cosmogonic implications, was held by Raven 
and Mink and their party of the "myth People," who 
"were Birds and anamals yet they can talk to Each 
other and understand Each other, these are called the 
myth People or nux'nemes" (APS-KM vi:4969). In order 
to perform the ceremonial, the myth people (or "Historic 
People," as Hunt more often called them) took off their 
animal shapes. Some of them dressed in their animal 
masks afterward, while others remained in human form 
(Boas and Hunt 1905:489; also Boas 1966:258). This 
event was the beginning of the separation between 
the human realm and the spirit realm of the animals. 

The first winter dances of humanity were based on 
the animal natures of the primordial generation: 

and what Ever kind of Bird a man Belongs to 
his Dance will Be as he was Befor he was 
turned into a man. and [for those who were] 
the animals [it is] the same. (APS-KM vi:4969) 

Hunt lists some of the dances of "the myth people," 
which include the Wolf Dancer, the Fool Dancer (for 

Deer), the Grizzly Bear Dancer, the Raven Dancer, the 
Thunderbird Dancer, and others. In his cosmology these 
archaic dances predate those acquired in the age of 
myth proper (nuyam), when the children and grand- 
children of the first generation of transformed, secular- 
ized beings grew to human adulthood, ventured into 
the deep forest or out to sea, acquired spiritual wealth, 
and founded descent groups: 

these spirits appears to the first man of each 
one clan or nsmemot and tells him what to 
Do. what kind of Dances he will use. [But] 
that is after the myth People Past. (APS-KM 

The Winter Ceremonial of his day, Hunt argues in 
these pages, evolved through a series of accretions: 
beginning with the dances passed down from one's 
ancestor, based on his spirit nature, growing through 
the addition of dances such as the Tuxw'id and 
Hamshamt'sas acquired from spirits by the early gen- 
erations of humanity; and ending in the historic period 
with acquisition of the Hamat'sa complex through mar- 
riage and war from the northern neighbors of the 
Kwakwaka'wakw.^^ In Hunt's view, the dance acquisi- 
tion stories belong to a range of ethnoliterary genres 
that correspond to these developmental stages of the 
cosmos. As Hunt states elsewhere, the eponymous 
"nux'nQmes" inuxwni' mis) are stories told about the 
primordial beings; following this are "nuyEm", stories 
concerning the first generations after the first winter 
dance; then come "q!a'yul" (.k'ayuf), "tale[s] about 
the forefathers" that occurred after the end of the myth 
age, within the historical memory of latter-day humans; 
and finally there are "q!a'yala" {k 'ayola), a person "tell- 
ing what he have seen and what he Heard his Friends 
talking about" (APS-KM iii:4624). 

In his discussions of myth and the Winter Ceremo- 
nial, Boas did not ignore the varieties of acquisition 
story. He treated them, though, as story types of equal 
significance, coexisting, as it were, in ethnoliterary time 
and space. In these late unpublished manuscripts. Hunt 
places not just the dances but also the stories about 



their origins within the framework of a developing, trans- 
forming universe. 

Hunt's focus on the History People and their trans- 
formation suggests that the key to the underlying mean- 
ing of the Winter Ceremonial should be sought there, in 
the story of its origin, and not just in the elaboration of 
the hereditary prerogatives that are the actual dances. 
(Boas published several versions of the story under 
various titles, the first being "Mink and the Wolves"; 
Boas 1897:538-9; 1930 [l]:57-86, 86-92, 1943:22; 
Boas and Hunt 1 906:1 03-1 3; see Berman 1 991 :698- 
702; 2000). It is hard to say whether the emergence of 
this cosmogonic framework is the result of Hunt's 
greater freedom to set his own agenda in these revi- 
sions or whether it is due in some measure to the time 
he spent in the late 1920s learning what the Winter 
Ceremonial's hereditary officers had previously kept 
"strickly secret" (Hunt to Boas 1 5 June 1 926, APS-BPC). 
Either way, it offers a tantalizing glimpse of a Kwak- 
waka'wakw cosmological order, an order for which 
anthropologists have hitherto been able to search only 
indirectly, through complicated interpretive operations 
(Berman 1991; Goldman 1975;Walens 1981). 

As elsewhere in Boas' unpublished papers. Hunt's 
revisions to SOSSKwl a\so contain rich nuggets of eth- 
nographic and ethnohistorical information about other 
peoples on the coast. In several places he discusses 
the movement and transfer of dances and dance ele- 
ments from group to group. Hunt was not merely echo- 
ing Boas' interest in diffusion; he was clearly fascinated 
by the topic on his own account. He himself had seen 
much change in the winter dances since his youth, 
when he danced for seven chiefs of the old-time 
Kwagui (Boas 1966:256). "[S]ince they got mixed 
in with the [dances of the] Heldzaqw [Heiltsuk] and 
the eawek!enox [Oowekeeno] there lots of change in 
the way they dance now" (APS-KM vi:4971-2). 

In one manuscript, as a comment on Boas' discus- 
sion of Nuu-chah-nulth dances in SOSSKwl (Boas 
1897:632-5), Hunt relates his experience at a Nuu- 
chah-nulth [Nootka] wolf dance held around 1917: 


about fifteen year ago. my son Johny and me 
went to Nootka or motsludox or Deer tribe . . 
. and geting Dark that Evening I took notice 
that all the young men walk togather. and 
late in the night I Heard lots of wolves 
Howling in the woods long ways off . . . and 
the wolves Howl Every night, and on the 
fourth Evening the wolves Howled most. ... I 
did not sleep much that night, and Early in 
the morning I got up and Joh[n]ey and me 
went out of the House . . . the wolves came 
at the Right side of the House in a file, 
wearing wolfs mask as is show on Page 477 
Plate 36 [of SOSSKwl] and Holding their 
Hand with their thumbs as they Do on the 
Picture . . . (APS-KM v:5356-7) 

In this manuscript Hunt also discusses the history 
of that particular Wolf Dance, recounts the myth of its 
origin, and describes the ceremonial in some detail 
(APS-KM v:5356-74). He was surprised at some of the 
elements in the dance, including a song with Kwak'wala 
words that derived from the Hamat'sa ceremonial of 
the Kwakwaka'wakw. Hunt was told that the chiefs 
wife, who came from the'Namgis division of the 
Kwakwaka'wakw, had asked a visiting relative to make 
her Nuu-chah-nulth husband aHamat'sa, 

and [her relative] said to her jokeingly o you 
can Have it. But my songs I cant give them 
away . . . and the women said give me one 
song if it is aBaxus [baxwas; i.e., profane or 
ordinary] song for these People Dont know 
ts!ets!eqa from Baxus. and she Did not aske 
for a name for the Hamats!a and he sung the 
thanking song or molxeduyu song and she 
was so Pleaced that she foget to say more. 
(APS-KM v:5359) 

In several places in his revisions. Hunt comments 
on the acquisition of Winter Ceremonial dances through 
warfare (e.g., APS-KM vi:5051-9). This was one of the 
means by which the dances spread north all the way 
to the Tsimshian and Tlingit, as Hunt had witnessed in 
his youth. His discussion of the topic also imparts de- 
tails about the indigenous slave trade on the North 
Pacific Coast during the 1 9th century. 

According to Hunt, it was common practice to 
question war captives in detail about the ceremonials 
into which they had been initiated when they were 
free. "|T|he northern People learn about the winter dance 


. . . from their slaves" (APS-KM v:5420). Hunt tells the 
following story about "a'maxs the great warrior of the 
gedaxai [Kitkatia] tribe" (APS-KM v:5418-20; Hunt to 
Boas, 1 4 December 1 92 1 , APS-BPC). Some time during 
the 1 850s, "a'maxs" (that is, the Coast Tsimshian per- 
son named Haymaas) killed a Kwagut chief and took 
the chiefs sisters prisoner. Seven or eight years later, 
one of the women who had been captured returned 
to Fort Rupert, probably after having been bought and 
freed by an HBC factor at Fort Simpson. She told the 
Kwagul how she and her sisters had been interrogated 
by their captors. First they were asked 

if they were chiefs Daughters or sisters, and 
she said yes I am sister of . . . the head chief 
of the Kwakwak!um clan of the q!umoyEwe . 
said she. and then the man . . . ask what kind 
of Dance you have in the winter, and she say 
we ts!ets!eqa [the major Kwakwaka'wakw 
Winter Ceremonial] ... my Elder sister is meia 
Dancer . . . and . . . tamer Dancer, and lots of 
other kind of other [dances], and the man 
said the slave we took Before you said that 
also you have the Hamatsle [a much higher- 
ranking dance] and the loiEin [Ghost] Dance 
also, yes she said true about the Hamatsia . . . 
But the lotEm [or] . . . nonlEm . . . Dance Dont 
Belong to the Kwaguh it Belongst to the 
Llatlaseqwala [and other northern 
Kwakwaka'wakw divisions]. ... so By the 
slaves they try to learn all they can, about 
the names and the . . . dances, and Even their 
. . . son[g]s. and a maxs never keep lot of 
slaves, for he sells them, firther up north . . 
and when their sold, the new owner aske the 
same Questions. (APS-KM v:5419-20) 

The information from the Fort Rupert woman evidently 
motivated Haymaas to go to war against the north- 
ern divisions of the Kwakwaka'wakw. Once more, he 
took prisoners and interrogated them about their 
dances, and this time he learned all about the nuniam 
Dance as well. He eventually sold these latter prison- 
ers to a Tongass Tlingit man, and as a boy Hunt met 
them in his great-uncle's town of Daasaxakw. 

Not all of Hunt's ethnohistorical commentary in 
these revisions concerns dances and ceremonials. For 
example, he also discusses trade in mundane items: 

while I stay with my grandfather [i.e., great- 
uncle] at tongas ... I use to aske him about 

Defferent thing, where they came from, and 
how he get them, then he alway say that the 
chelgat [Chilkat division of the Tlingit] People 
Brought . . . fancy Braided mats and small 
fancy Braided Baskets with Rattleing covers 
on them and carvings of wood and Ivory and 
the copper breslets . . . and other copper 
implements are Brought By the xo neya 
[Heinya division of the Tlingit] People to sell 
to us, said he. (APS-KM iv:4897) 

One illustration of aTlingit oil dish carved like a seal 
(Boas 1 897:393; see Fig. 59) sparked atrain of thought 
regarding which designs in North Pacific Coast art are 
merely decorative and which represent the hereditary 
privileges used by the aristocracy— what in Kwak'wala 
Hunt refers to as "k!eso'." Hunt writes, 

I had two [Tongass Tlingit] uncles who were 
good carvers, and lots of their People, and 
the other tribes come and ask them to make 
a grease Dish for them, and my uncle . . . ask 
the man what well I carve on it. and the man 
say to him. you carve on it anything you like 
on it that will make it look Pretty, now thes I 
seen for I use to Be [with] my uncles all the 
time, and from that time. I thought these 
kind of Dishes is not a k!eso . now another 
thing, a man come to my uncles, and say to 
them I come to ask you to carve a totem 
Pole for me. and now my uncle ask the man 
How many figure you want me to Put on the 
Pole . . . and [if| the man said I want sea 
Raven or nashak yai at the Bottom, and 
above this will be yan tan or great Whale. 
and above it will be yai or Raven, and above 
it will Be lanekluxu or the mink, and above 
will Be woman and her. toad, or sawat. 
ganaow and on the top of the Pole will Be yai 
or Raven sitting now. the carver cant add 
Enything onto those figures. Because they are 
true k!eso's. and that is the way the other 
totem Poles, are made, and also Big feasting 
Dishes they have to Be made By the carver 
according to what the chief told him to 
carve onto them or House Post, for these are 
true k!eso'. (APS-KM v:4896-7r' 

What, if anything, did Boas do with these hundreds 
of pages of manuscript? In the early 1 920s he put to- 
gether a short article ("Remarks on Masks . . .," APS- 
RMC) based closely on Hunt's first batch of revisions 
to SOSSKwl, the list of corrections to the illustrations. 
Boas hoped that the National Museum of Natural 



History would publish this article as it had the original, 
but he was unable to excite any interest in that quar- 
ter (j. R. Swanton to Boas, 1 8 June 1 924, APS-RMC). 

Boas incorporated other revisions into the manu- 
script that was published posthumously as KwakiutI 
Ethnography. The revisions appear primarily in the two 
chapters on the Winter Ceremonial (Boas 1966:171- 
98). The first of these chapters, as already noted, con- 
sists largely of material taken from the original SOSSKwl; 
the corrected Kwak'wala transcriptions are just about 
the only additions. The second chapter is a compila- 
tion of English paraphrase from published Hunt texts 
(Boas 1930:57-131) that is interpolated with material 
from both the original text of SOSSKwl and Hunt's later 
commentary on that text. Some, but by no means all, 
of Hunt's revisions are credited to him. 

The revisions that Boas saw to print are only a small 
portion of the whole. Their scope is such that any evalu- 
ation of the original monograph, or any reinterpreta- 
tion of the Kwakwaka'wakw Winter Ceremonial, for 
that matter, should not be made without them. 

Nuu-chah-nulth Tales 

One last set of Hunt documents needs to be men- 
tioned: a manuscript collection of Nuu-chah-nulth 
myths, tales, and prayers in English, numbering over 
500 pages. George Hunt wrote these down during 
the Jesup Expedition period, and many of them may 
be connected to the Nuu-chah-nulth objects that Hunt 
purchased for the AMNH (Boas to Hunt, 4 March 1 904, 
AMNH-HCF; Boas to Hunt, 1 1 April 1 903, AMNH-HAR). 
One Nuu-chah-nulth myth collected by Hunt (and pub- 
lished by Boas as a Kwak'wala text) refers to a whal- 
ers' purification shrine now in the collections of the 
AMNH (Boas 1930 [l]:257-65). 

Most of the written Nuu-chah-nulth materials were 
apparently related to Hunt by a man named Lewis 
who returned with Hunt to Fort Rupert after the latter's 
1903 collecting expedition on the west coast of 
Vancouver Island (Hunt to Boas, 25 November 1904, 
AMNH-HAR; Hunt to Boas, 22 January 1904, AMNH- 


HCF). Lewis is perhaps the "alewes, a Kayoquath" men- 
tioned several times in the manuscript. Hunt's Nuu- 
chah-nulth manuscripts seem to have bounced back 
and forth between Boas and Edward Sapir over the 
years; they are currently catalogued under Sapir's name 
at the American Philosophical Society (APS-SHN)." 


The manuscripts discussed here represent only the high- 
lights of the unpublished North Pacific materials in Boas' 
papers. One could also mention his files on Fort Rupert 
social organization; linguistic materials on Tsimshian, 
Aleut, and other North Pacific languages by his stu- 
dents and correspondents; and more Hunt writings on 
everything from the history of certain Kwakwaka'wakw 
coppers to Hunt's Tlingit mother's clan myths. This 
unpublished material, taken as a whole, could fill six or 
more published volumes that would each add much 
to our understanding of the Native peoples of the 
region and of Boas' own work. 

Although there is a great deal more to be said on 
the latter subject, two points are striking. The first is 
how much Boas' output on the Kwakwaka'wakw was 
dependent on Hunt's vast knowledge and ceaseless 
labor. Of the proverbial "five-foot shelf of Kwak- 
waka'wakw materials, all but a few inches turn out to 
originate with Hunt himself. Even those few seem to 
be shrinking as we learn more. 

The magnitude of Hunt's contribution is so great 
that it makes us uneasy to see Boas' name alone on 
the cover of most of these volumes. True, Boas always 
acknowledged Hunt's contribution: Hunt's name is even 
on the title page of SOSSKwl and on the cover of the 
first two text volumes (Boas and Hunt 1905, 1906). 
Why Boas chose to relegate mention of Hunt to the 
prefaces of the later text volumes is unknown, but it 
was not because Hunt's contribution was any less. 
The latter practice may have been more in line with 
scholarly etiquette of the time: Boas also used exten- 
sive notes of (white) whaling captains in his later Inuit 
monographs and, again, acknowledged that fact on 


title pages and in his prefaces but not on the covers 
(1 901 :4-5, 1 907:374-5). Still, from a modern perspec- 
tive, the suggestion of sole authorship is misleading. 

At the same time, Boas' contribution should not 
be undervalued. Although the fact is often obscured 
by the way in which Boas published Hunt's materials, 
Boas was largely responsible for the scope and focus 
of Hunt's work. With some exceptions, of which the 
revisions to SOSSKwl are the most significant, he set 
the research agenda. He picked the topics to be in- 
vestigated, asked Hunt the specific questions, and 
decided when further details were needed and when 
it was time to move on to the next topic. And, of 
course, he provided the money that enabled Hunt to 
devote so much of his life to ethnography. 

The second important insight to emerge from the 
unpublished materials is how, while anthropologists 
have underestimated Hunt's contribution to Boas' 
Kwakwaka'wakw publications, they may also have 
underestimated Boas. As we have seen, Boas was of- 
ten reluctant to formalize and make explicit the no- 
tions driving his research, and his thinking on a subject 
cannot always be gauged by his published comments. 
Some of his most interesting anthropological thinking 
seems to have taken place out of sight. These unpub- 
lished materials allow us glimpses of it. 


1 am indebted to the staffs of the American Philosophi- 
cal Society, the Anthropology Archives of the Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History, the Columbia Univer- 
sity Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Hudson's 
Bay Company Archives at the Provincial Archives of 
Manitoba for their aid in locating numerous manuscripts 
and photographs. Igor Krupnik offered helpful com- 
ments on the final form of the paper, and Marie-Lucie 
Tarpent kindly dug up hard-to-find references. I would 
particularly like to thank Bill Holm for making a copy of 
Hunt's memorandum book available to me, and Beth 
Carroll-Horrocks, formerly the manuscript librarian at 
the APS, for her endless patience and helpfulness. 


1 . Two orthographies are used here to tran- 
scribe Kwak'wala words. In quotations from Boas 
and Hunt, words are spelled as closely as pos- 
sible to the way they wrote them, within the con- 
straints of utilizing those characters represented 
in the First Nations Courier New Font and First 
Nations StillMore Font. All other words are tran- 
scribed from Boas' or Hunt's original spellings into 
the standardized orthography of the U'mista Cul- 
tural Centre of Alert Bay, B.C., produced with First 
Nations Courier New font. Both fonts were cre- 
ated by Robert C. Hemphill of Port Hardy, B.C.. 

2. Hunt's sources included George 
Blenkinsop, the HBC officer in charge of Fort 
Rupert at the time, and an Indian man named 
Hemisilakw. The latter may be Hunt's friend Tom 
Hemaselakw, one of the Kwakwaka'wakw troupe 
who accompanied Hunt to the 1 893 World's 
Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. Hemaselakw's 
father and perhaps mother were from the 
T'lat'lasikwala division of the Kwakwaka'wakw 
(APS-KM v:5420). 

3. Hunt says the final confrontation occurred 
af Nawidi itself, i.e., "Sutil Point," but'Nawidi is 
elsewhere said to be Cape Commerell, at the tip 
of Vancouver Island (Boas 1 934, maps 3, 20). Hunt 
perhaps means "Newiti" in the sense used by 
whites, i.e., both the village on Hope Island and 
the two closely linked divisions that dwelled 
there at the end of the 19th century, the 
T'lat'lasikwala and the Nakamgalisala. 

4. In 1991 the word babaMwa was glossed 
to me as "vicious man" rather than "warrior." 

5. Hunt states that a number of British sail- 
ors were killed during the gun battle at Bull 
Harbour (CU-Hunt xiv:3942), but according to re- 
ports of the time, none of the injuries suffered by 
the sailors were fatal (Cough 1984:45). 

6. Neville Lincoln is currently preparing a com- 
prehensive analytical Kwak'wala dictionary. 

7. A typical example of a sortal classifier 
would be musgami migwat, "four harbor seals," 
where mu- is a quantifer stem meaning "four," 
-sgam is the classifier used for bulky objects, -i is 
a demonstrative suffix, and migwat is the term 
meaning "harbor seal." 

8. Indirect evidence that Boas understood 
the shape class system comes from Helen Codere, 



who noted that Boas' Kwak'wala was only criti- 
cized by the Kwakwaka'wakw for being too slow, 
while an assimilated Kwakwaka'wakw woman 
was criticized because she could not correctly 
use shape locatives (Codere 1966:xxiv, xxvii). 

9. One of the drawings is presumably the 
"plan of Fort Rupert as it appeared in 1 866" that 
Boas refers to in the manuscript for the post- 
humous KwakiutI Ethnography but that could not 
be found for publication (Boas 1966:48). 

10. A fifth division, the Mamalilekala, moved 
with the others but soon returned to its original 
location (Boas 1921 :973-7). 

11. It is uncertain whether Hunt and his 
mother stayed at Daasaxakw on Village and Cat 
Islands or at Kadukguka on Tongass Island. Both 
sites were occupied by Tongass people during 
the 1860s, and Hunt mentions being at both lo- 
cations (APS-KM v:5420; Hunt to Boas, 2 August 
1920, APS-BPC; HBCA, Fort Simpson Journal, 24 
February 1858; Olson 1967:94; Paul 1971:12). 

12. Documents indicate that George Hunt 
was employed by the company in Fort Rupert in 
January 1864 (HBCA, Robert Hunt Biography; W. 
Tolmie to P. Compton, 9 January 1864, HBCA, 

1 3. The relevant HBCA material is as follows: 
Tolmie to W. Smith, 15 August 1868, B.226/b/ 
34:346; J. Bissett to J. Grahame, 1 2 October 1 870, 
A.l 1/85:474; Grahame to R. Hunt 14 September 
1871, B.226/b/44:807; Grahame to W. Armit, 3 
October 1871, B.226/b/45:204, 206-7. 

14. The number of slaves was between 16 
and 19; slave status is not clear in several cases. 

15. Hunt's father was hired to conduct an 
official census of Fort Rupert and vicinity in 1 881 
(HBCA, Robert Hunt Biography: 12; William Charles 
to R. Hunt, 29 March 1881, B.226/b/23 fo.l32, 
HBCA). Hunt may have aided his father in this 
effort, and the experience may have influenced 
the form of the two censuses he carried out for 

16. A second Kwakwaka'wakw collection 
was made by Jacobsen's younger brother in 1 884 
(Cole 1985:67), but Boas may not have used it. 

17. Boas wrote that the Winter Ceremonial 
occurred in 1895-96. His letters home from the 
field (Rohner 1969), his subsequent correspon- 
dence with Hunt and others, and his own list of 


field expenses (APS-BPC, AMNH-HAR) show that 
this date is erroneous. 

1 8. The relatively unpracticed handwriting is 
clearly similar to that of Hunt's letters that date 
to the mid-1 890s. By 1900, he developed very 
regular penmanship. The features of Hunt's earli- 
est transcription practices include the following: 
"Q" or "q" as any back labialized stop or fricative; 
the combination "dg" as either the voiced affri- 
cate dz or the voiceless glottalized affricate ts'; 
the character "L" as, interchangeably, the voiced, 
voiceless, or glottalized lateral affricate or, with a 
bar above it, the lateral fricative; and the frequent 
use of a length diacritic above every vowels. In 
Hunt's post-1 897 manuscripts, he has abandoned 
these features except the use of "L" for all lateral 
affricates. For example, for the word t'tagakw, "red- 
dyed cedar bark [for the Winter Ceremonial]," Hunt 
wrote Liigiiq in 1 895 but Laghkw by 1898 (Hunt 
to Boas, 5 November 1 895, 25 May 1898). Boas 
would have rendered this word as L!agEkw. 

19. This set begins at page 41 but switches 
several pages later to page 34 and runs from there 
to page 56. 

20. Hunt was aware of variation in and elabo- 
ration of this developmental sequence among the 
Kwakwaka'wakw but was most concerned with 
the four Kwagul divisions of Fort Rupert. 

21 . Hunt is describing a pole that was raised 
to his maternal grandmother at Kadukguka on 
Tongass Island and later removed to Pioneer 
Square in Seattle. While Hunt may have been with 
his uncles at the time of his grandmother's death 
in 1 870, the pole would not have been raised un- 
til some time afterward (Barbeau 1 950:651 -2; Paul 
1971:14). It also seems unlikely, though not im- 
possible, that his uncles would have carved their 
own mother's memorial pole— a task properly car- 
ried out by their moiety opposites. 

22. After Hunt's death in 1933, Boas began 
to work with William Beynon, a part-Tsimshian 
man, much as he had with Hunt. From 1933 to 
1941 Beynon generated thousands of pages of 
Tsimshian manuscript for Boas, only some of which 
have been edited and published (Beynon to Boas, 
7 October 1935 et seq.. Boas to Beynon 14 April 
1 941 ; Tsimshian Chiefs 1 992; see also Anderson 
and Halpin 2000). The Beynon manuscripts are cur- 
rently in the Columbia University Archives. 


Appendix A 

Location of Major Hunt/Boas Manuscript Collections 
The American Philosophical Society (APS) in Philadel- 
phia is the major repository of Boas' papers. The hold- 
ings include a number of Hunt manuscripts and related 
materials, in English and Kwak'wala. There are two 
major collections of Boas papers at the APS: Boas Pro- 
fessional Correspondence (BPC) and the Boas Linguis- 
tic Collection. Each has a finding aid that is close to 
comprehensive. The two volumes of the Cuide to the 
Microfilm Collection of the Professional Papers of Franz 
Boas (1 972) list all of Boas' correspondents alphabeti- 
cally and then by date. Nearly all the other Boas and 
Hunt manuscripts at the APS are referenced in John 
Freeman, y4 Cuide to (Manuscripts Relating to the Ameri- 
can Indian in the Library of the American Philosophical 
Society (APS, 1 966). The Freeman catalogue numbers, 
given below, are a useful reference tool only; they are 
not the APS manuscript accession numbers. 

Unfortunately, the contents of the massive Hunt 
manuscript collections referenced in the APS Freeman 
Cuide are not indexed. The "List of KwakiutI Manu- 
scripts by George Hunt in Columbia University Library" 
(APS-LKM), written by Boas some 50 years ago, is a 
partial catalogue of Hunt manuscripts, published and 
unpublished, that are today split between the Colum- 
bia University Libraries, the APS, and perhaps other 
places as yet unknown. It seems likely that most of 
the still unlocated manuscripts mentioned in Boas' list 
will eventually be found at the APS. 

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia 
University holds 1 4 volumes of Hunt manuscripts (des- 
ignated here as CU-Hunt). Volumes i-xiii of CU-Hunt 
consist almost exclusively of the originals of the pub- 
lished Hunt texts; the final volume (xiv) contains the 
original Hunt manuscripts for a text volume that is held 
at the APS, "KwakiutI Ethnographic Texts and Transla- 
tion," which never went to press (APS-KTT). 

Abbreviations used in the text 
For internal consistency and ease of referencing, the 
following abbreviations have been devised for this 
paper; they may bear little resemblance to abbrevia- 
tions used within the holding institutions. 

American Philosophical Society (APS) 

APS-BPC Franz Boas Professional Correspondence 

APS-KEM Franz Boas [and George Hunt], KwakiutI Eth- 
nographic Materials [1 900-3 1 ]. 3 vols. Boas Linguis- 
tic Collection [Freeman 1927] 

APS-KM Franz Boas [and George Hunt], :Kwakiutl 
Materials [1896-1933]. 6 vols. Boas Linguistic Col- 
lection [Freeman 1941] 

APS-KTT KwakiutI Ethnographic Texts, and Transla- 
tion. 2 vols. [pt. I, Texts; pt. II, Translations]. Boas 
Linguistic Collection [Freeman 1938] 

APS-KWD KwakiutI Dictionary. Edited by Helene Boas 
Yampolsky. Boas Linguistic Collection [Freeman 

APS-LKM List of KwakiutI Manuscripts by George Hunt 
in Columbia University Library. Boas Linguistic Col- 
lection [Freeman 1923] 

APS-RMC Franz Boas, Remarks on Masks and Ceremo- 
nial Objects of the KwakiutI [Amplification and cor- 
rection of specimens in Boas 1 897, with information 
on use]. Boas Linguistic Collection [Freeman 1 926] 

APS-SHN Edward Sapir and George Hunt, Nootka Tales. 
4 vols, [two, the original Hunt ms.; two, a revised 
typescript] [Freeman 2405] 

Anthropology Archives, American Museum of 

Natural History (AMNH) 

AMNH-HAR George Hunt Accession Records 

AMNH-HCF George Hunt Correspondence File 

Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia 

University Libraries (CU) 

CU-Hunt George Hunt, Manuscript in the Language of 
the KwakiutI Indians of Vancouver Island. Preface by 
Franz Boas, reviser. 1 4 vols. 

Hudson's Bay Company Archives (HBCA), 

Provincial Archives of Manitoba 

Fort Simpson Journal 1855-59 

Robert Hunt Biography 

Other Manuscript Sources 

FRP Register of Fort Rupert Land Purchase, British Co- 
lumbia Archives, Victoria 

Hunt Memorandum Book, Private Collection 



Appendix B 

Table of Contents for the unpublished "KwakiutI Texts" volume 
[from the copy at the American Philosophical Society, APS-KTT] 


Conversations 1 

Conversation between Husband and Wife 1 

Conversation between Husband and Wife 1 

Conversation between Husband and Wife 3 

Convez>8at ion between Husband and Wife 4 

Conversation between Husband and Wife 5 

Conversation between O'mx'eid and Ma Mother 6 

Conversation between Me'led and her Mother 6 

Quarrel of Husband and Wife 7 

Husband and Wife 3 

Conversation of Mother and Daughter.... 9 

Conversation of Mother and Daughter.. 9 

Conversation between Father and Son 10 

Advice Given to Sea Hvinter 11 

Conversation of Father and Daughter 11 

Conversation between Two Brothers 12 

A Young Man Goes Htintlng... 13 

A YoTing Girl Returas to Fort Rupert after Fourteen 

Years Absence 13 

Conversation of Two Men 15 

Conversation of Two Young Men 16 

Conversation of Two Hunters 16 

Conversation of Two Old Men... 17 

Conversation of Two Friends 18 

A Wreck 19 

Conversation of Two Young Men 20 

Conversation of Two Friends 21 

Conversation of Two Men 22 

Instruction Given by a Warrior 23 

Conversation of Two Warriors 24 

A Feast 24 

Quarrel between a Chief and a Proud Man 25 

Conversation between Two Young Women 27 

Clam Digging 28 

Conversation of 'iVo Women 28 

Conversation of Women 29 

A Quarrel 33 

Borrowing a Canoe 35 

Conversation of Two Men 35 

Conversation of Two Men.. 36 



Father and Son 36 

Conversation about O'mx'eid 37 

The Name for White People 38 

A Letter 38 

A Letter 39 

Biographical 40 

Biographical Notes of a ena'klwax'daexu Woman 40 

Food-Gathering and Sioknesa 42 

Illegitimate Children 43 

Hunting and Sap-Making. 45 

Hunting... 46 

Drying Salmon... 48 

A Supernatural Experience 49 

A Supernatural Experience, Told by g'l'qalas 51 

Fuz^Seal Hunting 53 

Speeches...... 54 

Anno\mceioMat of Naming of a Child Born in Another Village 54 

g'aeyAia Engageitient.«^..«i..... 55 

Marriage . • • . . . • • • w * « • • , 60 

Speech of Host in a Small Feast 65 

Host's Speech at Beginning of Grease Feast *f •...» • 65 

Speech for House Dishes 66 

Speech by Ncg 'a'dze 68 

Speech of a g'l'g'eljjam Chief at a Great Potlatch 70 

Awaxelag *elia*. • 70 

Speech of Welcome (I^n Cranmer}« 72 

Speech Delivered at a Sattill Feast 73 

Speech of Chief in d^uarrel «rlth Bi^als* 74 

Speech of a Porpoise fiuBter 77 

SpaechAS Made during Winter Ceremonial 78 

Assembly 78 

A Feast during the Winter Ceremonial 79 

Awaxclag 'clis 80 

Feast of Sparrow Society 81 

laxslt 84 

Historical 88 

The Missionaries at Port Rupert and in Newetbee 88 

War with the Southern Tribes 99 

War between Oa'yoklwadEX and Mfi'tsladEX 103 

The Murder of Qiwe 'qlweqiwe Ill 

The Splitting up of the Kwa'g'ui 113 


Social Organization 114 

The Chief and the enecme'ina 114 

Qla'qlasto 121 

The Eagles 128 

Woman as Manager of Property 128 

Women Who Have Men's Seats 1.50 

nS'gadesa aewaiLela 131 

dzo'noqlwa 131 

Descent and Frivileges 136 

Descent 136 

Endogamy 136 

The Social Position of lounger Children 136 

A Genealogy 139 

Introduction of the LEwelaxa 145 

ilwa'de 147 

Ya'xLcn 149 

Marriage 150 

A Marriage among the Koskimo..... 150 

A Marriage among the Kwaklutl 154 

Qotex'a 170 

Giving Advice to the Bride 177 

Instructions Given to Bride and Groom 189 

Xwe'sa 192 

Irregular JViarriages 193 

Illegitimate Children 199 

Illegitiinate Children 199 

Illegitimate Children 200 

Treatment of a Deformed Child 203 

Treatment of Infants. 206 

Education 210 

Education of a Girl 210 

Suicide 216 

Cenotaph 228 

Judgment of Character , 234 

Qualities of a Good Man 234 

A Well-behaved Girl 234 

A Bad Chief 235 

Bad Teachings 241 

Pipe s and Smoking 243 

Feasts 245 

qialqtt ( Travestites ) 246 

2 1 


Medicine 247 

Castorlum 247 

Hemlock Roots 247 

Black Bear Gall Used as Liver and Kidney Medicine 247 

Customs Relating to Fishing, Himting and Food-Gathering 248 

Olachen Fishing 248 

Taboos of First Pish 249 

First Fruits and First Olachen 250 

Cormorants 252 

Eagle Hunting 253 

Bewitching an Eagle 253 

Porcupine Hunter (Kwa'g'ui) 254 

The same ( ena'klwax *da ex« ) 254 

Hunting Customs « • 254 

Deer 254 

Shamanism 255 

Shamanism 255 

ha'daho 257 

Witchcraft 257 

e'qa 257 

LEWE'laxa 260 

Industries 270 

Harpoon Line 270 

Fishing Dentalia 270 

Landotter Trap 275 

Beaver Trap 277 

Stretching a Beaver Skin 278 

Deerskin , 279 

Fishing, Hunting, Food -Gathering and Preparation of Jt-'ood..,. 281 

Olachen 281 

Dog -Salmon 282 

Horse -Clams 285 

Clams 288 

Sea Hunting 289 


2 1 1 


Anderson, Margaret, and Marjorie Halpin, 

2000 Potlatch at Citsegukia: William Beynon's 1945 

Field Notebooks. Vancouver: UBC Press. 
Bancroft, Hubert Howe 

1 887 History of British Columbia, 1 792- 1 887. San Fran- 
cisco: History Company. 
Barbeau, Marius 

1950 Totem Poles. 2 vols. Bulletin 1 19. National Mu- 
seum of Canada, Ottawa. 
Berman, Judith 

1990 Notes on Shape Classification in Kwak'wala. In 
Working Papers for the 25th International Conference 
on Salish and Neighboring Languages. Pp. 37-60. 
Vancouver: University of British Columbia. 

1 991 The Seals' Sleeping Cave: The Interpretation of 
Boas' Kwak'wala Texts. Ph.D. diss., University of Penn- 
sylvania, Dept. of Anthropology, Philadelphia. 

1 994 George Hunt and the Kwak'wala Texts. Anthro- 
pological Linguistics 36(4):482-514. 

1996 'The Culture as It Appears to the Indian Him- 
self: Boas, George Hunt and the Methods of Eth- 
nography. In Volksgeist as Method and Ethic: Es- 
says on Boasian Ethnography and the German An- 
thropological Tradition. George W. Stocking, ed. Pp. 
215-56. History of Anthropology, 8. Madison: Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin Press. 

2000 Red Salmon and Red Cedar Bark: Another Look 
at the Kwakwaka'wakw Winter Ceremonial. BC 
Studies 125/126:53-98. 

n.d. Raven and Sunbeam, Pencil and Paper: George 
Hunt of Fort Rupert, B.C. In American Indians as An- 
thropologists. Douglas Parks, ed. Norman: Univer- 
sity of Oklahoma Press. 

Boas, Franz 

1897 The Social Organization and the Secret Societ- 
ies of the KwakiutI Indians: Based on Personal Ob- 
servations and on Notes Made by Mr. George Hunt. 
Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1895. Wash- 
ington, DC: Government Printing Office. 

1 901 The Eskimo of Baffin Land and Hudson Bay. Bul- 
letin of the American Museum of Natural History 15(1). 

1 907 Second Report on the Eskimo of Baffin Land 
and Hudson Bay. Bulletin of the American Museum 
of Natural History] 5(2). 

1909 The KwakiutI of Vancouver Island. The Jesup 
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Boas, Franz, and George Hunt 

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2 1 2 


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2 1 3 

61/ Jesup Expedition Collections displayed at the American Museum of Natural History, 1905 (AMNH 386) 

a rt 



Tl^e "Russian ^astian" and ^oas 

VVl^y ^hternberg's " j he ^ociai O^'ga'^i'^ation of the (jiltjalc" {Njever 
/Appeared /\mong the Jesup j^xpedition f ubiications 


This paper, like the manuscript it deals with, has a 
rather complicated history. It was originally written for 
a session devoted to the Jesup North Pacific Expedi- 
tion ONPE) at the 1 993 meeting of the American An- 
thropological Association (see Fitzhugh and Krupnik, 
this volume; Kan 1 993).' The aim of that original paper 
was to establish why Shternberg's 'The Social Organi- 
zation of the Gilyak," which had been commissioned 
by Boas in 1 904 for the JNPE series, never saw the light 
of day. At that time, I had done but a limited amount 
of research on Shternberg's biography and scholarly 
activities, using his own and others' published works 
as well as his correspondence with Boas, which is pre- 
served in the archives of the American Philosophical 
Society (APS) and the Department of Anthropology, 
American Museum of Natural History (AMNH-DA). I 
had also utilized both the Russian- and English-language 
versions of his Gilyak manuscript located at the AMNH. 

Although my paper did provide a fairly accurate 
answer to the question it asked, it did not utilize the 
large collection of Shternberg materials at the Archive 
of the Russian Academy of Sciences (AAN), St. Peters- 
burg Branch, and consequently did not go far enough 
in exploring the various intellectual, political, and per- 
sonal obstacles that prevented Shternberg from com- 
pleting the monograph.^ But the paper nevertheless 
served an important purpose: at my suggestion, the 
AMNH decided to finally publish this manuscript, which 
had been lingering in its archive for over half a cen- 
tury. Bruce Grant, who has done archival research on 

and ethnographic fieldwork among the Gilyak [Nivkh] 
and has published his own book (Grant 1 995) on their 
cultural and sociopolitical history under Soviet rule, 
edited the AMNH manuscript and wrote the foreword. 
In preparing Shternberg's Gilyak study for publication. 
Grant examined many of the same source materials as I 
had, as well as my 1993 manuscript (Grant 1999:xliv) 
and, more important, a number of key documents from 
the Shternberg archive. The result of Grant's work- 
both his substantial foreword and his notes— is a major 
tour de force that answers many of the questions raised 
a few years earlier (Shternberg 1 999). 

My own research on Shternberg's intellectual 
biography, which has been going on since 1998, has 
involved a thorough examination of most of the docu- 
ments from the Shternberg archive, as well as a careful 
review of his entire corpus of publications.^ In the course 
of this work, I have discovered some important addi- 
tional information on the history of the Gilyak manu- 
script. I have also come to some conclusions about its 
content that do not fully agree with or that at least 
supplement those of Grant (1999). Consequently the 
focus of the present piece is rather different from that 
of its 1 993 predecessor. 

While Grant's critical evaluation of the contents of 
the Gilyak manuscript concentrates mainly on 
Shternberg's deeply flawed evolutionist reconstruc- 
tion of Gilyak social organization, I pay more attention 
to the monograph's last three chapters, which discuss, 
in a synchronic perspective, the functioning and the 

2 1 7 

religious symbolism of the clan— the key unit of the 
Cilyak sociopolitical and ideational universe. I argue 
that in this part of his work, in which Shternberg elo- 
quently demonstrates the interrelationship between 
the Gilyak social structure and the Cilyak religious 
worldview, he sounds more like Durkheim and Mauss 
than like Morgan and Tylor. My analysis also shows 
that his fascination with and very positive evaluation 
of the role of the clan in Cilyak culture and society had 
much to do with his own lifelong commitment to Rus- 
sian populism (narodnichestvo), a unique blend of west- 
ern socialist and home-grown ideas. In fact, I believe 
that this contradiction between Shternberg's progres- 
sivist 1 9th-century evolutionism and his somewhat ro- 
mantic admiration for the precapitalist social organi- 
zation and social life of Siberia's indigenous peoples 
was central to his entire scholarly worldview and set 
him somewhat apart from the classical evolutionists. 

Boas' correspondence, not only with Shternberg 
himself but with Shternberg's closest Russian colleagues 
and friends, Bogoras and Jochelson, sets the saga of 
the manuscript's preparation and its absence from the 
Jesup publication series in the context of the larger 
story of Boas' complex, four-decade-long relationship 
with his three Russian colleagues. Such contextual- 
ization of the Boas-Shternberg relationship gives us a 
much better understanding of Boas' truly heroic efforts 
to foster a Russian "ethno-troika" and to encourage its 
greater concentration on scholarly work than on left- 
wing political activities and journalism (and in 
Shternberg's case, on Jewish politics, as well).'' 

Boas first became acquainted with these scholars 
on the eve of the Russian Revolution of 1 904-05, when 
he recruited them to take part in the JNPE project. His 
effort to maintain close contact with them throughout 
the turbulent 1 91 Os, World War I, the February and Oc- 
tober Revolutions of 1917, the devastation of Russia 
in the early 1 920s, and the rise of Stalinist totalitarian- 
ism in the late 1920s and early 1930s indicates the 
importance of this relationship for him, both as a scholar 
and as a human being. Similarly, the relationship was 

2 18 

very important to the three Russian scholars, both pro- 
fessionally and personally. Boas, after all, had always 
been one of their most important western professional 
contacts, the main publisher of their scholarly works 
outside Russia, a source of badly needed additional 
income, and a close friend. Although the space limita- 
tions of this paper do not allow me to explore Boas' 
relationship with Bogoras and Jochelson in as much 
detail as that between him and Shternberg, I believe 
that this topic is crucial for our understanding of the 
entire Jesup project and requires a great deal of further 
investigation (see Krupnik 1 998). At this point, how- 
ever, I simply offer an examination of the relationship 
between Boas and Shternberg, whom Boas once re- 
ferred to as the "Russian Bastian" (Boas 1934:xli), as 
well as a preliminary review of Shternberg's scholarly 
contributions and public life (see Kan 1 993, 1 999, 2000). 
The purpose of this paper is also to emphasize that, in 
many ways, Shternberg was very much a part of the 
Boasian JNPE project, although the long delay in pub- 
lishing his contribution has obscured this fact. 

Shternberg as a Jewish Populist 

Since Shternberg's biography has been recently out- 
lined (Grant 1 999), I offer only a brief overview of his 
political and scholarly activities, focusing in particular 
on those aspects that either are directly related to his 
work on the Gilyak manuscript or are not discussed in 
detail by Grant.^ Lev Shternberg was part of a cohort of 
Russian-Jewish revolutionary populists (narodnikijwho 
rose against the tsarist government in the late 1 870s- 
mid-1 880s and were sentenced to exile in Siberia. His 
future friends and colleagues, Jochelson and Bogoras, 
shared the same ethnic, social, and political background 
and suffered the same punishment. 

Born in 1861 in Zhitomir, a provincial Ukrainian 
town. Lev (Khaim) lakovlevich Shternberg attended 
the local Jewish religious school, where he acquired 
a deep knowledge of the Hebrew Bible and, in the 
words of his childhood friend, Moisei Krol' (1 929:2 1 5), 
was inspired to begin asking "important questions of 


a religious, juridical, and moral nature." Although later 
in life Shternberg moved away from the traditional 
Judaism of his childhood and became a member of the 
urban intelligentsia, he did retain a deep affection for 
his people and a strong interest in their culture and 
historical experience. Like many other Jewish populists 
of his era, he was particularly drawn to the ideology of 
the biblical prophets, with their emphasis on compas- 
sion and social Justice (see, for example, Shternberg 
1924; Haberer 1995). Unlike Bogoras and Jochelson, 
he eventually became very active in Jewish political 
and cultural activities, journalism, and ethnographic 

Shternberg's life changed dramatically at the age of 
1 0, when his father sent him to a Russian high school. 
There, he entered a new world of secular culture. He 
devoured the classical novels by Russian and western 
European authors and then the works of Darwin and 
other materialist natural scientists and philosophers, 
which were extremely popular with young Russian in- 
tellectuals in the 1 860s and 1 870s (Vucinich 1 988). He 
also began studying the works of the Russian "revolu- 
tionary democrats" of the previous generation who at- 
tacked Russia's conservative political regime and back- 
ward socioeconomic system. 

Soon, a biblical commandment "to love thy neigh- 
bor" became an inspiration for him to fight for social 
justice (Krol' 1929:218). In 1876-77 populist ideas 
spread quickly from the urban centers to the provincial 
towns. Young people, many of them members of the 
lower middle class and the intelligentsia, organized a 
movement of "going to the people," that is, to the Rus- 
sian peasants, whom the narodniki hoped to radicalize 
through education and political propaganda. Although 
Shternberg was too young to join this movement, he 
helped the radicals in various ways (Hardy 1 987). 

It is not surprising that in 1 881 , on graduating from 
high school, Shternberg decided to enroll in St. Pe- 
tersburg University, one of the most intellectually 
and politically progressive institutions of higher learn- 
ing in Russia and a major center of populist activities. 

Having chosen the natural sciences division, he at- 
tended lectures by the leading scientists of the day, 
who introduced him to the latest positivist, evolution- 
ist, and materialist theories. Along with Krol' and 
Bogoras, Shternberg joined the student branch of the 
People's Will, the leading underground populist party 
(which by this time was in decline), and in 1 882 he 
played an active role in organizing a large student dem- 
onstration against increased restrictions on the stu- 
dents' academic freedom (Naimark 1 983). As a result, 
all three were expelled from the university and ban- 
ished from the capital (Krol' 1944:22-46). 

Shternberg then became a student in the law divi- 
sion of Novorossiysk University in Odessa, where for 
four years he studied subjects that were closely related 
to his future work in comparative ethnology: history, 
philosophy, sociology, and primitive law. In Odessa he 
became a leading member of the "Southern Group" of 
the People's Will. In 1886, during his graduation ex- 
aminations, Shternberg was arrested, along with other 
activists of the Southern Croup, including Bogoras. The 
People's Will was finished (Naimark 1983; Haberer 
1995:242-51). After spending three years in solitary 
confinement in an Odessa prison, where he studied 
several foreign languages as well as history, political 
science, and other subjects (AAN, 282/1/120), 
Shternberg was exiled to Sakhalin Island, Russia's infa- 
mous penal colony (Grant 1 995, 1 999). 

Like other populists, Shternberg had a strong faith 
in the power of science (understood in positivist and 
materialist terms) and in sociopolitical and moral 
progress. He subscribed to the theory of social evolu- 
tion and saw the evolution of ideas as the main cause 
of social progress— like most other late 19th century 
evolutionists, but unlike Marx, whom the narodniki did 
study and respect a great deal (Malinin 1 991 ; see also 
Stocking 1 987). He shared the populists' strong inter- 
est in and romanticization of the Russian peasant com- 
mune, seen as the foundation of a more egalitarian, 
nonexploitative, and just society of the future that was 
to be different from the capitalist West. In the 1870s 



through the 1890s, interest in rural social institutions 
and the spiritual culture of the peasants— and, by ex- 
tension, the "precapitalist" Siberian natives {inorodts\d— 
stimulated a great deal of sociological, folkloristic, and 
ethnographic research, carried out mainly by the ex- 
iled populists (Tokarev 1 966; Slezkine 1 994:1 1 3-29). 

Shternberg as Ethnographer/Social Theorist 

After arriving on Sakhalin in May 1 889, Shternberg con- 
tinued reading voraciously and studying European lan- 
guages, philosophy, and history.'' He soon came across 
the island's main indigenous people, the Cilyak [Nivkh], 
who occasionally visited Aleksandrovsk, the main Rus- 
sian community on Sakhalin, where he had initially 
settled.^ In the spring of 1 890 Shternberg was punished 
for defending a fellow exile from administrative abuse 
and was sent from Aleksandrovsk to Vyakhtu, a remote 
military outpost 1 00 kilometers to the north. There he 
was able to get a much closer look at the natives who 
lived nearby and often came to Viakhtu to trade. 

While some exiled revolutionaries might have been 
pushed toward ethnographic research by the sheer bore- 
dom of their life (see Vahktin, this volume), this seems 
not to have been the case with Shternberg. As he 
wrote two decades later, "My previous scholarly stud- 
ies, predominantly in the domain of the humanities and 
the social sciences, naturally pushed me . . . towards 
the study of the Cilyak social and spiritual culture. My 
primary interests included the family structure, the clan, 
and religion, followed by poetry [folklore] and language. 
At that time I was particularly interested in the first two 
and with them I began" (Shternberg 1 908:viii). 

Shternberg's research methods included some 
participation in the Natives' daily activities, such as 
hunting and trapping (see AAN, 282/1/2, p. 10), as 
well as working with an informant, an influential and 
wealthy man who often visited the post and traded 
information on the Cilyak religion and other subjects 
for bread, sugar, and tobacco (AAN, 282/1/2, p. 10; 
Shternberg 1999:5). Even though many of the Cilyak 
visitors to the post spoke some Russian, Shternberg 

soon realized that without learning the Cilyak language 
and using it to gather ethnographic data, any attempt 
to understand the Natives' "true [podlinnyi] life," and 
especially its "psychological aspects," would fail 
(Shternberg 1908:viii-ix).8 

In February 1891 the island's Russian administra- 
tion found out about Shternberg's studies, and he was 
asked to undertake a census of the Cilyak population 
in the northwestern part of the island. Eventually, he 
was allowed to visit the rest of Sakhalin and the nearby 
lower Amur River region, where he continued his cen- 
sus work as well as his ethnographic observations of 
the Cilyak, Oroki [Uilta], Ainu, Orochi, and Col'dy 
[Nanay]. Except for his first ethnographic expedition, 
undertaken in the winter of 1 891 , Shternberg normally 
surveyed the Native settlements in the summer and 
spent the winters analyzing his data, as well as collect- 
ing additional information from visiting Natives and a 
few young Cilyak who resided with him for substantial 
periods of time. ^ 

The fact that a significant part of Shternberg's 
ethnographic research was conducted in the context 
of rather brief visits to Native settlements for the pur- 
pose of census taking had a definite effect on the kind 
of data he was able to collect. '° Although, like most 
other ethnographers of his time, he tried to gather 
information on every aspect of Native life and even 
bought objects of material culture and undertook some 
archeological excavations, much of his data had to do 
with demography, kinship terminology, and the 
Natives' statements about their laws, customs, and 
beliefs, ratherthan his own observations of theirevery- 
day and ceremonial life. 

To Shternberg's credit, he was a tireless ethnogra- 
pher who used every opportunity to question his Cilyak 
hosts and guides about their culture. He even devel- 
oped a clever method of encouraging the Cilyak to 
share information with him: he would often show them 
an illustrated book depicting the various peoples of 
the Russian Empire and ask them to compare those 
peoples' "exotic" customs with their own (Shternberg's 



1 891 diary, AAN, 282/1 /3, p. 82; Shternberg to Krol", 
19 May 1891, AAN, 282/2/363, p. 30). This cast his 
relationship with them in a more reciprocal light. He 
also used every opportunity to get at the deeper lay- 
ers of the Gilyak religious worldview and philosophy. 
For example, during one of his journeys through north- 
ern Sakhalin, Shternberg climbed a mountain that the 
Gilyak considered very sacred. His Native guides were 
terrified and were convinced that he would not come 
back alive. When he did, they volunteered a great deal 
of valuable information on the mythology and religious 
beliefs surrounding the sacred site (Shternberg 

Shternberg's study of the Gilyak language and his 
method of recording the various genres of Gilyak folk- 
lore were on a par with the work of most other Russian 
and foreign ethnographers who had not had any previ- 
ous training in linguistics." At the same time, neither 
his published works nor his field notes contain many 
really detailed descriptions of Gilyak rituals, despite 
his interest in "primitive" religion. 

As his diaries and journals indicate, Shternberg stayed 
in a Gilyak village only long enough— usually only for 
a few days— to conduct an adequate census and record 
kinship terms, along with some other data, but not long 
enough to make any systematic, detailed observations 
of day-to-day activities, social interactions, or rituals. In 
fact, although he was happy about the research oppor- 
tunities census taking provided, he complained on oc- 
casion that his Native hosts would sometimes become 
bored with the census-related questions and would give 
him only perfunctory answers. Hence, while he eventu- 
ally became a strong advocate of what he called "the 
[long-term] stationary method" of field research (Bogoras 
1 928; Ratner-Shternberg 1 935), his own ethnographies 
lack the kind of rich and detailed data, derived from 
first-hand observation, one finds in Malinowski's writ- 
ing on the Trobriand Islanders or in Bogoras' on the 
Chukchi (Bogoras 1 904-09). 

From the very beginning, Shternberg's ethnographic 
research had a definite focus on the Gilyak system of 

kinship and marriage, which also accounts for a certain 
one-sidedness of his data. His interest in these topics 
probably resulted from his previous reading in primi- 
tive law and social organization, as well as his populist 
fascination with the workings of a rather egalitarian so- 
cial order in which exploitation of the poor by the 
wealthy was absent. As Shternberg wrote to Krol' on 
May 19, 1891, just a few months after his first trip 
through northern and northwestern Sakhalin, the life 
of the Gilyak was "wholesome and full [tsel'naia i 
polnaia], the individual and the group are linked to- 
gether by natural bonds . . ." (AAN, 282/2/363, p. 34). 
The same letter indicates that by this time he had al- 
ready read Engels' book Der Ursprung der Familie (The 
origin of the family) and that through Engels he had 
become familiar with Morgan's reconstruction of the 
evolution of marriage and the family.'^ 

Shternberg's letters and diary entries show that soon 
after initiating his research on the Gilyak he became 
firmly convinced that he had discovered evidence of 
group marriage among them. In the same letter to Krol', 
he wrote: 

My main accomplishment is the study of 
their social organization and marriage 
system. I discovered among them a system 
of kinship nomenclature and a system of 
family and clan law [semeino-rodovoe pravo] 
which are identical to those which exist 
among the Iroquois ano in the case of the 
famous Punulua. In other words, I found the 
remnants of that form of marriage upon 
which Morgan had built his theory and which 
serves as the starting point of the brochure 
Der Ursprung der Familie. ... At first I was 
afraid to believe my discovery. However, 
during the census-taking, when I tried not to 
miss a single family or a single dwelling, I 
asked detailed questions about the terms of 
address used by the various family and clan 
members and about their sexual rights and 
finally became convinced that my discovery 
had been correct. Despite the fact that quite 
a few descriptions of the Gilyak exist, none 
has addressed this issue, at least in the 
works known to me. I plan to publish a 
report about those aspects of the Gilyak 
social life, which I have studied, and hope 
that it would [be] of interest not only to the 
specialists. (AAN, 282/2/363, pp. 36-9) 


As Shternberg's first ethnographic report on the 
Gilyak, written in 1 891 and published two years later in 
one of Russia's two major ethnological journals, indi- 
cates, he was aware of the fact that by the 1 890s the 
Gilyak had become basically monogamous and that 
the "sexual/marital rights" he had "discovered" among 
them were no longer exercised all the time. In fact, 
their occasional exercise could cause displeasure and 
even violent protest from the woman's husband. How- 
ever, in Shternberg's words, "from the legal point of 
view, so to speak, they [these rights] still exist and their 
exercise is not considered adultery, is not penalized, 
and is often carried out with the permission of the man's 
brothers and his wife's sisters' husbands" (Shternberg 
1893:7, 15). As Grant (1 999:xl-xlii) points out, what 
Shternberg found among the Gilyak was not a survival 
of group marriage but "a loose kind of monogamy" 
characterized by "discreet but permissible affairs" be- 
tween certain categories of relatives, especially if one 
of the participants in the affair was a visiting guest. 
Shternberg's firm adherence to Morganian evolution- 
ism—and, I believe, a certain feeling of "eureka"— pre- 
vented him from ever questioning his "discovery." 

This fascination with Gilyak social organization is 
clearly reflected in Shternberg's first ethnographic pub- 
lication, two-thirds of which is devoted to discussion 
of the family, the clan, kinship and marriage, and indig- 
enous law. While this essay contained a fairly detailed 
account of the Gilyak system of kinship and marriage, 
as well as an interesting and laudatory description of 
the Gilyak agnatic clan, including a discussion of the 
clan's symbolism (see below), his comments on Native 
religion are fairly brief and are cast in evolutionist terms 
(Shternberg 1 893:22). Another example of his lack of 
understanding of the depth and complexity of the Gilyak 
religion is his inadequate treatment of the bear festival 
as a purely social institution that, in his view, func- 
tioned simply to strengthen intraclan bonds and had 
no religious significance (Shternberg 1 893:9). This view 
of the most important Gilyak ceremony was eventually 
challenged by some of Shternberg's own published 

data and, especially, by the work of later ethnogra- 
phers (e.g., Kreinovich 1973). Shternberg also argued 
that despite several centuries of Gilyak interaction with 
and subordination to the Manchurians, the Chinese, 
the Japanese, and, most recently, the Russians, their 
culture had remained largely intact and could thus be 
used for a comparative study of primitive social orga- 
nization and religion.'^ 

Despite its obvious limitations, Shternberg's 1 893 
essay on the Gilyak generated considerable interest 
among Russian ethnographers, both because of its de- 
scription of a relatively "unknown and exotic" culture 
and on account of its "discovery" of an interesting form 
of "primitive marriage." Moreover, his "discovery," sum- 
marized briefly in a Russian newspaper, was noted by 
Engels himself, who praised it in an article in Die Neue 
Zeit entitled "A Newly Discovered Case of Group Mar- 
riage" (see Engels 1933 [1892-93]). For Engels, 
Shternberg's "discovery" represented a powerful proof 
of the validity of Morgan's evolutionary scheme and 
his own arguments in The Origin of the Family 972 
[1884]; see Grant 1995:55-8; 1999:xli). This recogni- 
tion by the scholarly community, including one of the 
leaders of the world socialist movement, was obviously 
very important for Shternberg, who still occasionally 
expressed doubts about his research and especially 
about his lack of training in ethnology and linguistics 
(see his letters to Krol', AAN, 282/2/363). 

Having now become even more convinced of the 
validity of his evolutionist theorizing, Shternberg went 
on to "discover" another example of Morgan's classifi- 
catory system of kinship relationship and group mar- 
riage, this time among the Orochi of the Tatar Strait, a 
Tungus-speaking group of sedentary hunters and fish- 
ers living on the Pacific Coast across from Sakhalin 
Island. The results of his Orochi research appeared in 
an 1 896 essay published in several installments in a 
local newspaper (Shternberg 1 896). In it, Shternberg 
spoke with the greater authority of an ethnographer 
who had already made an important discovery among 
a neighboring people, as well as a comparativist who 



had read a great deal of theoretical literature on the 
evolution of marriage and social organization.'" 

Shternberg's Career in the Early 1 900s 
In May 1 897 Shternberg's exile ended, and he returned 
to his hometown. However, without a university di- 
ploma it was difficult for him to find a satisfying and 
adequately paying job. While doing some writing for a 
local newspaper, he also busied himself with organiz- 
ing his Cilyak data and preparing it for publication. His 
friends and fellow populists, Krol', Bogoras, and 
Jochelson, who had finished their exile earlier, had al- 
ready begun publicizing their ethnographic and lin- 
guistics data among several prominent members of the 
Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) in St. Petersburg 
and were looking for money to publish them. They 
tried to help him follow their path (see Jochelson's 
letters to Radloff, 24 February, 1 7 November 1 898, 
AAN, 1 77/2/1 20, pp. 1 -4). 

Of the three, it was Krol' who spoke about Shternberg 
with Vasily V. Radloff, the head of the Museum of An- 
thropology and Ethnography (MAE) and a leading spe- 
cialist on the languages and folklore of the Turkic- 
speaking peoples of Central Asia and southern Siberia. 
After describing in glowing terms Shternberg's Cilyak 
ethnography and the ethnographic community's re- 
sponse to it, Krol' managed to convince Radloff that 
his friend had to reside in St. Petersburg and work for 
the MAE (Krol' 1944:274-6; letters from Krol' to 
Shternberg, 1 899-1 900, AAN, 282/2/1 57). Thanks to 
Radloff's intercession, the police gave Shternberg— 
who was required by law to reside within the "pale of 
Jewish settlement"— a three-month permit to live in the 
capital. Bogoras also spoke to Radloff about his friend's 
research and sent Shternberg instructions on how to 
prepare his linguistics work so as to make it more inter- 
esting to the MAE, especially to Karl Zaieman, a mem- 
ber of the Academy and a prominent specialist on Cen- 
tral Asian languages (Bogoras' letters to Shternberg, 1 899, 
AAN, 282/2/34, pp. 15-17; Zaieman's letters to 
Shternberg, 1 900-01 , AAN, 282/2/1 07). Shternberg's 

friends' efforts paid off: in the spring of 1 899 Zaieman 
agreed to examine his "Obraztsy materialov po 
izucheniiu giliatskogo iazyka i fol'klora" (Samples of 
materials for the study of the Cilyak language and folk- 
lore) and was very impressed with the work. Later that 
year, Zaieman and Radloff invited Shternberg to St. 
Petersburg, where he spent several months interacting 
with them and several other prominent linguists and 
ethnologists. With substantial help from Zaieman, 
Shternberg prepared his "Samples" manuscript for pub- 
lication, and in 1900 it appeared in the RAS publica- 
tion series (Shternberg 1 900). By that time, Shternberg's 
permit to reside in the capital had been extended, and 
he could finally bring his wife, Sarra Ratner, there. 

Through Krol', he also met a number of prominent 
liberal journalists, many of them populist sympathizers 
or "legal populists" (Malinin 1991), as well as future 
leaders of the Constitutional Democrats (KD), Russia's 
leading liberal political party. As a result, he began 
writing on political subjects for several well-known pro- 
gressive newspapers and submitted reviews of books 
on ethnology, sociology, and related subjects to 
Russkoe bogatsvo, an influential literary and political 
journal of the legal populists. From then on, journalis- 
tic writing remained an important avenue for express- 
ing his views on social and political issues, as well as a 
source of badly needed supplementary income. Most 
important for Shternberg's scholarly career was an invi- 
tation to become the editor of the ethnology section 
of the remaining unpublished volumes of the famous 
Encyclopedic Dictionary of Brocl<haus and Efron, which 
featured articles by the country's leading liberal intel- 
lectuals. In the course of writing a large number of 
entries for it and editing those written by others, 
Shternberg familiarized himself with many of the latest 
Russian and western anthropological publications and 
reaffirmed his evolutionist position, as well as his view 
of "ethnography" (anthropology) as a comparative and 
holistic discipline that had to become the cornerstone 
of all the humanities and the social sciences. By 1904 
the project had been completed, but throughout the 



1 91 Os Shternberg wrote and edited entries on anthro- 
pological topics for several other Russian encyclope- 
dias and dictionaries. In 1901 Radloff invited him to 
join the staff of the MAE, where he stayed the rest of 
his life. By 1 904 he had been appointed the museum's 
senior ethnographer— its second in command. 

From Gilyak Ethnography to Evolutionist 
Ethnology with a "Durkheimian" Twist 
In the early-to-mid-1 900s, Shternberg also prepared 
for publication his only two major monograph-length 
works: an annotated collection of Gilyak folklore 
(Shternberg 1 908), and a rather extensive Gilyak eth- 
nography that elaborated on many topics only briefly 
mentioned in his 1 893 essay and introduced a num- 
ber of new ones (Shternberg 1 904). From the point of 
view of this paper, his discussion of the Gilyak kinship 
and marriage system and of the centrality of the clan 
in Gilyak social life is particularly important, since it 
formed the core of "Social Organization of the Gilyak." 
An analysis of the 1 904 work also demonstrates the 
theoretical maturity that Shternberg had achieved be- 
fore beginning his earnest correspondence with Boas. 

Like his 1 893 essay, Shternberg's 1 904 Gilyak mono- 
graph was not a truly comprehensive one in the clas- 
sic Boasian style, although it was three times as long 
as the earlier piece. While it did cover a variety of top- 
ics, including the origin of the Gilyak and their natural 
environment, subsistence, material culture, language, 
and religion, issues related to social organization were, 
once again, at its core. At the very beginning of his 
work, Shternberg justified his focus on this topic: "No 
other aspect of the Gilyak social life differentiates them 
so sharply from the surrounding peoples as their 
classificatory system of relationships and the rules regu- 
lating sexual relations and marriage" (1 933a [1 904]:30). 
Although the new discussion of Gilyak kinship differed 
from the old one mainly in the amount of detail pre- 
sented and not in substance, it did contain important 
new information on "a triangulated system of marital 
exchange, based on a tri-clan phratry or alliance group 

. . . that underwrote a complex web of mutual social 
and economic obligations" (Grant 1999:xl). 

As a comparative ethnologist with a secure posi- 
tion rather than just an ethnographer, Shternberg 
compared the Gilyak kinship and marriage system with 
those of the Australian aborigines and other "primi- 
tive" peoples and concluded that the former was very 
similar to the "Punaluan" system documented by 
Morgan. In fact, he used his own Gilyak data to "solve" 
a number of puzzling questions raised by the work of 
several western ethnographers in other parts of the 
world. It is obvious that Shternberg's evolutionism had 
become even stronger in the time between the publi- 
cation of his first and second Gilyak studies. Thus, the 
1 904 publication omits a passage that appeared in 
the 1 893 article about the displeasure often caused 
by theoretically permissible sexual liaisons among the 
Gilyak. In fact, by the early 1 900s, Shternberg appears 
to have become so wedded to evolutionism that he 
ignored his own data on a widespread Gilyak practice 
of marrying outside the prescribed clan and even out- 
side the ethnic group (e.g., Shternberg 1 933a:45). For 
him this phenomenon represented a more recent de- 
parture from the original "pure" practice that he tried 
so hard to reconstruct. As Grant (1999:xliii) correctly 
points out, the clan system that Shternberg so elegantly 
described "was far less fixed than he first had per- 
ceived it. Given the swell of non-Gilyaks into the area, 
the increasing dislocations through travel and trade, 
and the demographic havoc wrought by disease," much 
of what he had presented was only an ideal system.'^ 

To Shternberg's credit, it should be noted that when 
describing the "survivals of group marriage" among the 
Gilyak, he repeatedly stated that the Gilyak were not 
promiscuous and that they strictly followed their own 
laws of morality. Unlike most western evolutionists, 
who saw "primitive" forms of kinship and marriage as 
something to be overcome by progress, this Russian 
populist was ambivalent about them. On the one hand, 
as a firm believer in humankind's inevitable progress, 
he did express hope that some day the best aspects 



of European civilization would be accepted by the 
Cilyak and other indigenous Siberians. On the other 
hand, he admired many Gilyak customs, especially their 
social solidarity and the support an individual found in 
his or her primary kinship group, the agnatic clan. 

In my view, it is Shternberg's detailed and sensitive 
discussion of the socioeconomic and political func- 
tions and religious symbolism of the Cilyak clan, which 
he convincingly presented as their central institution 
"regulating all of the other aspects of their life" 
(1 933a:81 ), that makes his writing on the Gilyak differ- 
ent from most other contemporary evolutionist accounts 
of the social life and culture of "primitive peoples." 
Paradoxically, while Shternberg never cites Durkheim 
and Mauss in his works, his discussion of the Cilyak 
clan, especially the interconnectedness between its 
social and ideological symbolic dimensions and the 
harmonious relationship between the individual and 
the group in Gilyak society, is strongly reminiscent of 
Primitive Classification (Durkheim and Mauss 1963 
[1 903]) and other works by these authors. This similar- 
ity should not surprise us. Like Shternberg, Durkheim 
and Mauss were socialists who sought in primitive so- 
cieties characterized by "simple economic relations and 
an integrated socioreligious world view" (Shternberg 
1 933a: 1 1 3) an alternative to modern capitalist society's 
"organic solidarity" and anomie.'^ Also like Durkheim, 
Shternberg was fascinated by the fact that the Cilyak 
adhered to their laws "despite an almost total absence 
of authority or compulsion" (Shternberg 1 933a: 1 08). 

In his concern with the freedom of the individual, 
Shternberg differed from Marx and Engels and their fol- 
lowers. While he occasionally describes Cilyak eco- 
nomic and social life as a kind of "primitive commu- 
nism," he also emphasizes that among the Cilyak, "com- 
munism and individualism coexist almost without ten- 
sion" (Shternberg 1933a:83). Like his fellow-populists' 
descriptions of the Russian peasant commune, 
Shternberg's account tended to overemphasize egali- 
tarianism and downplay economic and sociopolitical 
inequality. He appears to have been correct, however, 

in stating that in a society like that of the Gilyak, the 
wealthy leaders had to support their less fortunate clan 
relatives, and that clan solidarity would thus ame- 
liorate the hierarchical tendencies. More important, 
unlike most of the classic evolutionists or the Marx- 
ists, but like Durkheim, Shternberg was interested in 
the effect of a "clan-based social order" [rodovoi stroi\ 
on an individual's personality. In his view, an average 
Gilyak had a "holistically developed personality with 
its integrated world view" (Shternberg 1933a:120). 

Finally, like the Durkheimians and their followers 
among the British structural-functionalists, Shternberg 
paid a great deal of attention to the role of religious 
sanctions in encouraging the individual to adhere to 
the rules and laws of his or her society. His approving 
discussion of the Gilyak clan ends with a virtual hymn 
to an institution that he refers to as a "whole school of 
social upbringing, a school of benevolence, hospital- 
ity, compassion, and . . . proper social conduct [blago- 
vospitannost']. In this school those social habits and 
emotions are created, which eventually become too 
strong to be limited to interclan ties and evolve into 
sympathy towards one's entire tribe [people] and even- 
tually towards human beings in general" (Shternberg 
1 933a: 1 27). Here the voices of Shternberg the ethnog- 
rapher and Shternberg the populist merge into one.'^ 

Boas, Shternberg, and the Jesup Expedition 
Publications, 1900s-1917 

Shternberg's career and theoretical development are 
important because of his considerable influence on 
Russian anthropology. This paper, however, focuses 
mainly on his relationship with Boas and Boas' efforts 
to persuade him to produce a monograph on the 
Gilyak for the Jesup Expedition publication series. The 
development of Boas' plan for a large-scale expedi- 
tion aimed at studying the cultural affinities between 
the inhabitants of the coasts of eastern Siberia and 
northwestern North America, and his efforts to recruit 
Bogoras and Jochelson to lead the Russian part of the 
expedition and then transform their field data into 


22 5 

detailed monographs, have been well documented by 
scholars and will not be repeated here.'* 

Less known is the fact that Shtern berg's three friends 
mentioned above attempted to get him, too, involved 
in the project. Thus, in a letter sent some time in 1 899 
to Shternberg, who was still in Zhitomir, Krol' wrote, 
"Your trip to America did not materialize— they already 
have their own 'Gilyak'" (AAN, 282/2/1 57, p. 1 1 0). The 
reference here is obviously to Berthold Laufer, a young 
German linguist and sinologist whom Boas had recruited 
in 1 897 to undertake research among the Natives of 
the lower Amur River and Sakhalin Island and who 
spent 16 months there beginning in the summer of 

1 898. In another letter to his friend, dated January 3 1 , 

1 899, Krol' urged Shternberg to waste no time and to 
send at least one analyzed Gilyak text to the St. Peters- 
burg academicians as soon as possible in order "to 
beat Laufer" (AAN, 282/2/1 57, pp. 274-6). Thus it 
appears that had Shternberg already been living in St. 
Petersburg when Boas was negotiating with his Rus- 
sian colleagues about the Siberian part of the expedi- 
tion, he would have been hired along with Bogoras 
and Jochelson. Instead, the field research in the Russian 
Far East was carried out by a much less experienced 
ethnographer who spoke neither Gilyak nor Russian 
and who worked only through interpreters, except 
when he could find a Native who knew Chinese.'^ 

It must not have been difficult for Boas to realize 
that the data collected by Laufer were inferior to those 
of Bogoras and Jochelson, the two seasoned Siberian 
ethnographers. While the Russians managed to pro- 
duce enough contributions to fill four volumes of the 
JNPE publications, including two very substantial and 
rounded monographs (Bogoras 1 904-09; Jochelson 
1 908), Laufer's contribution to the same series was lim- 
ited to a slim essay on the decorative art of the Amur 
River tribes (Laufer 1902).^° During their stay in New 
York in 1902-04, Bogoras and Jochelson undoubtedly 
told Boas about Shternberg's extensive research in the 
same area where Laufer had labored with such limited 
results. Boas also must have heard a lot about Shternberg 

in the course of his negotiations with Radloff about 
sending to the MAE duplicates of the objects collected 
by the two Russians for the AMNH. 

Shternberg and Boas Meet 
The first evidence of Boas' interest in having Shternberg 
write something for the JNPE series is in Jochelson's 
March 30, 1903, letter to Shternberg (AAN 282/2/124, 
p. 4a). Boas had decided that Shternberg had to be 
brought to New York by the end of the summer of that 
year to work with the AMNH's Amur and Sakhalin col- 
lection and write a monograph on the Gilyak. As 
Jochelson put it, "Boas wants you to work on the col- 
lection . . . but his real goal is to get acquainted with 
your Amur and Sakhalin materials" (AAN 282/2/1 24, 
pp. 6-7). Boas wanted the MAE to send Shternberg on 
an official business trip to the United States and was 
willing to commit AMNH funds to cover some of the 
expenses involved (AAN 282/2/124, pp. 6-7). In a 
letter to AMNH Director [Hermon C.] Bumpus, Boas 
described his reasons for bringing Shternberg to New 

Dr. Sternberg has lived in the Amur River area 
and on the Island of Sakhalin for ten years 
and has made very extended studies on the 
Gilyak and Ainu. The results of his investiga- 
tions are being published now by the 
Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Professor 
Radloff thinks that it would be of advantage 
to Dr. Sternberg to familiarize himself with 
the collections of our Museum, and I believe 
that it would be of very great advantage to 
us to have Dr. Sternberg go in detail over our 
Ainu and Gilyak material. I should also very 
greatly value the opportunity to discuss with 
him fully the tribes of the southeastern part 
of Siberia, which are of great importance in 
relation to the Jesup Expedition. Dr. 
Sternberg's services would also be valuable 
in selecting the duplicates which Mr. Jesup 
intends to present to the Museum of the 
[Russian] Academy of Sciences. (Boas to 
Bumpus, 26 October 1903, AMNH) 

Unfortunately, because of some bureaucratic prob- 
lems at the AMNH, Boas was unable to carry out his 
plan and decided to postpone Shternberg's visit to the 



United States until 1 905. In the meantime, on April 30, 
1904, he sent Shternberg an invitation to attend the 
1 4th International Congress of Americanists, to be held 
in Stuttgart in August 1 904 (AAN/282/2/29, p. 1 ; see 
Jochelson to Shternberg, 25 January 1 904, AAN, 282/2/ 
1 24, p. 8; Boas to Radloff, 23 January 1 904, AMNH). As 
Boas wrote to Shternberg: "Your thorough knowledge 
of the Ainu and Cilyak will be of great value to us, and 
I believe that the comparative points of view, which 
the other gentlemen [Bogoras, Jochelson, and Laufer], 
who partake in the conference, possess, will be of in- 
terest to you" (AMNH). On June 6, 1 904, Shternberg 
replied, thanking Boas for his invitation and for "afford- 
ing" him "the possibility of taking part in the discus- 
sion of the great northeastern Siberia and northwestern 
America problem," which he himself had already been 
"greatly interested in" (AMNH). 

The congress was Boas' first opportunity to meet 
Shternberg and discuss with him a variety of scholarly 
issues of mutual interest in the company of Bogoras, 
Jochelson, and Laufer. While all three of the Russian 
participants made presentations at the congress, it was 
Jochelson's (1 906) and Shternberg's (1 906a) papers that 
reflected most closely Boas' comparative JNPE agenda. 
For the purposes of this paper, Shternberg's presenta- 
tion is particularly important, since it demonstrates that 
he had been interested in that agenda for some time. 

In the wake of this meeting, on March 2, 1905, 
Boas sent Shternberg an official invitation to visit the 
AMNH "for the purpose of examining and re-arranging 
our collections from the Amur River region and also to 
write out such information on the ethnology of those 
tribes as may seem best after an examination of our 
material, and after our discussion of your publications." 
He also expressed the hope that Shternberg would be 
able to share his knowledge of the region's ethnology 
with Laufer, who at that time was working for the 
AMNH (AAN, 282/2/29: pp. 2-3). 

A few weeks later, Shternberg sent Boas a letter. 
He accepted the invitation and mentioned his plans to 
study AMNH's Amur and Sakhalin collection, "writing 

out all the necessaries for the literary work to be car- 
ried out at home" (AMNH). Although we do not know 
exactly what sort of monograph Boas had asked 
Shternberg to write for his series, one would suspect 
that he was hoping for something as comprehensive as 
Bogoras' and Jochelson's contributions. It is possible, 
however, that he was willing to make an exception for 
Shternberg, whose research interests, as we have seen, 
had a definite focus. In a letter to Jochelson, dated 
April 22, 1 905, Boas wrote, "I hope that he [Shternberg] 
will contribute to our series of Memoirs a description 
of the religious life and sociology of the Cilyak" (AMNH). 

Shternberg arrived in New York in late April-early 
May 1 905. Although his goal was to engage in mu- 
seum work, he must have been preoccupied with the 
dramatic events in his native country. By mid-spring of 
1 905, Russia had already plunged into tremendous po- 
litical turmoil. A disastrous war with Japan, begun in 
1 904, broke the patience of both the ordinary people 
and the liberal intelligentsia. For several years already, 
the latter had been gravitating toward the underground 
Soiuz osvobozhdenia (Union for Liberation), to whose 
newspapers Shternberg occasionally contributed. In their 
speeches given at the famous "banquets" of late 1 904, 
the liberals advocated political reform and the estab- 
lishment of basic freedoms. Shternberg must have been 
involved in these meetings, since many of his friends 
and fellow Journalists were. 

Although undoubtedly encouraged by the rising 
tide of the liberal and radical opposition to the old 
regime, Shternberg was deeply troubled by a simulta- 
neous increase in anti-Semitic propaganda and espe- 
cially by the anti-Jewish pogroms that began in the 
early 1900s and continued throughout the decade. 
For him, the right-wing attacks on the intelligentsia 
and the workers that accompanied the rise of the revo- 
lutionary movement were similar in essence to the 
pogroms. Having never lost his interest in the fate of 
his fellow Jews, and having been galvanized by the 
pogroms, Shternberg came to believe that the struggle 
for political liberation and socioeconomic justice in 



Russia had to include a concerted effort to emanci- 
pate the Jews, who were still the subject of various 
forms of legal discrimination. Hence, during the same 
period he began taking part in the activities of the 
various organizations of the liberal Jewish intelligentsia 
and wrote a number of eloquent and widely read pieces 
for several major Russian-Jewish periodicals on the sub- 
ject of Jewish liberation in the context of the broader 
revolutionary movement (Cassenschmidt 1995). 

For Boas, too, the spring and summer of 1 905 were 
difficult. An increased teaching load at Columbia Uni- 
versity and constant disagreements with AMNH Direc- 
tor Bumpus and with President Jesup, the main patron 
of the expedition, finally led him to resign his position, 
on May 24, while retaining some of his salary for com- 
pleting the work on the JNPE publications and several 
other projects (Cole 1 999:242-60). This new develop- 
ment made Boas extremely anxious to complete the 
JNPE publication series as quickly as possible. 

Despite these distractions, the two men quickly de- 
veloped a warm relationship, with Boas frequently in- 
viting Shternberg to his Columbia lectures and to din- 
ners at both his city and country residences. In the 
course of their conversations, the two scholars reaf- 
firmed their plans concerning Shtern berg's contribution 
to the JNPE publication series (AAN, 282/5/64, passim). 
In fact, one of Shternberg's tasks was to select those 
objects from the AMNH collection that he wished to 
serve as illustrations for his book. Although he did 
study the AMNH's Amur and Sakhalin materials and 
discussed them with Laufer, who had brought them there, 
Shternberg's written comments on them are extremely 
brief (Roon 2000:141). Unless some of Shternberg's 
writings on the subject have been lost, he clearly did 
not have very much to say about the collection. In fact, 
one of his letters to his wife mentions his not having 
very much work to do at the museum (AAN, 282/5/64, 
p. 98a). Although this may have been partly because 
his knowledge of the material culture of the Sakhalin, 
and especially of the Amur River Natives, was still some- 
what limited, other factors were clearly involved. 

As a Jewish socialist and a journalist, Shternberg 
was fascinated with the United States. His letters to his 
wife mention his wanting to be able to see more of 
the country, and even his entertaining a plan of travel- 
ing throughout the United States as a correspondent 
for one of the liberal Russian newspapers and writing a 
book about the country (AAN, 282/5/64, p. 98a). 
During his relatively brief stay in the United States, 
Shternberg found time to attend meetings of various 
left-wing organizations (including a congress of what 
he called "The American Workers' Party" in Chicago, 
which he visited to examine the Field Museum's Sibe- 
rian collection), as well as Jewish organizations (AAN, 
282/5/64, pp. 98-1 00a). He also socialized intensely 
with Russian-Jewish emigres in New York. 

A few weeks after Shternberg's arrival in New York, 
he learned of a terrible pogrom in his hometown, 
Zhitomir, that had occurred on May 9-1 0. Even though 
he soon received a telegram from his parents assuring 
him that they were all right, it was obviously difficult 
for him to concentrate on museum work. After two 
months in the United States, he finally sailed for Eu- 
rope, where he visited ethnographic museums in Swit- 
zerland and Vienna. The large collections from the Rus- 
sian Far East in Vienna were of special interest to him. 
However, his stay in Austria was interrupted by the sad 
news of his mother's death, caused by the emotional 
suffering she had endured during the pogrom 
(Shternberg to Boas, 28 August, 1 905, AMNH). 

Political Upheaval Delays the Gilyak Manuscript 
On September 21 , a few weeks after his return to St. 
Petersburg, Shternberg received a letter from Boas 
inquiring about the title he intended to give his contri- 
bution to the JNPE publications (AAN, 282/2/21 , p. 5). 
The fact that Shternberg took an entire month to re- 
spond was probably attributable to the intensification 
of turmoil in Russia. His response was dated October 
1 7, the very day on which Tsar Nicholas II issued his 
manifesto granting limited freedoms to the country's 
population and promising to proceed with elections 



for its first parliament (Duma). Despite these develop- 
ments, Shternberg's letter sounded somber: "Our pub- 
lic affairs are going very heavily. The unrest is growing 
every day, the intensity of public feeling is very high, 
and we are on the eve of terrible things" (AMNH). 

Shternberg's mood must have given Boas reason 
to worry about the future of the JNPE publications, 
especially since the work of his two other Russian con- 
tributors was also being negatively affected by their 
country's troubles (see Vahktin, this volume). Even 
Jochelson, the least politically engaged of the three, 
who lived abroad for long periods of time, was being 
distracted from his work by events back home (see 
Cole, this volume). As he wrote to Boas in one of his 
1905 letters, "You know, of course, that next to the 
researcher stands in me a citizen" (AMNH, quoted in 
Cole 1 999:236). Most troublesome of the "ethno-troika" 
was Bogoras. After a period of silence, which worried 
Boas a great deal, Bogoras wrote to Boas, on April 6, 
1 905. He apologized for neglecting his scholarly writ- 
ing but stated that "an epoch like this happens only 
once in many centuries for every state and nation and 
we feel ourselves torn away with the current even against 
our will." As a European-style progressive liberal. Boas 
was sympathetic to his Russian colleagues' concerns 
and watched the unfolding events in Russia with great 
interest. Still, for him, science came first. As he lectured 
Bogoras in a letter of April 22, 1 905, "If events like the 
present happen only once in a century, an investiga- 
tion by Mr. Bogoras of the Chukchee happens only 
once in eternity, and I think you owe it to science to 
give us the results of your studies." A November 23, 
1905, letter from Bogoras contained more regrets 
about his lack of progress but expressed the same 
sentiment: "my mind and soul have no free place to let 
in science" (all correspondence from AMNH). 

The final blow came on November 27, when 
Bogoras was arrested because of his active involve- 
ment with the All-Russian Peasants Union, which 
came under government attack. He informed Boas 
of his misfortune in a cable, causing his friend to 

contemplate appealing to both Radloff and Jesup for 
help in securing his release (see Boas' letter to Jochelson, 
4 December 1905; Boas' telegram to Radloff, 10 
December 1905, AMNH). While concerned about 
Bogoras' safety (see Boas to Bogoras, 1 January 1 906, 
letter, APS), Boas was also very worried about the fate 
of the scientific data Bogoras had collected in Siberia. 
This concern prompted an official letter to Shternberg 
on January 22, 1 906, from the new head of the AMNH, 
Henry Osborn, 

My dear Mr. Shternberg: 

You have undoubtedly heard of the arrest of 
Mr. Bogoras, which we learn took place in 
Moscow on November 29, but the details 
concerning which we know nothing. 

I have written to The Honorable George von 
L. Meyer, our Minister to Russia, asking if it 
would not be possible for him to make an 
effort to secure any notes, manuscripts, etc., 
bearing upon the Jesup North Pacific Expedi- 
tion, that may have been in Mr. Bogoras' 
possession at the time of his arrest, and I 
would say that if Mr. Meyer should call upon 
you, I hope that you will give him such 
assistance as is within your power, for I feel 
that it would be a distinct loss both to the 
Museum and to science if the ethnological 
records in Mr. Bogoras's possession should 
be destroyed. (AMNH) 

Fortunately, Bogoras was out on bail two weeks later, 
and by the beginning of 1 906 he was safe in Finland, 
where he resumed his scholarly work (Bogoras to Boas, 
1 January 1 906, APS). Happy to hear the good news. 
Boas cautiously suggested to Bogoras that it might be 
better for him "under the present conditions" to devote 
his time "to scientific work" (Boas to Bogoras, 24 
January 1 906, APS). 

While his Russian colleagues were causing Boas a 
lot of grief, so did his AMNH superiors (Cole 1 999:223- 
61). Throughout the spring of 1906, he shared his frus- 
trations with both Jochelson and Shternberg. Finally, 
on May 24, he sent both of them similar letters 
explaining the new arrangement he had worked out 
with the AMNH's director and with Jesup concerning 
the remaining JNPE publications. The one sent to 



Shternberg read: 

Presumably I shall make a contract with Mr. 
Jesup for completing the Jesup Expedition 
publications. The only manner in which it has 
been possible to make this arrangement is 
for me to undertake the whole risk of 
publishing the material, to pay for contribu- 
tions and for assistance. . . . Since I am to be 
paid after the completion of printing, it is of 
course essential that the contributions come 
in as promptly as possible, and I rely upon 
your assistance. In making the estimates, the 
best I have been able to do is to set aside 
for your manuscript the sum of $1 250. (AAN, 
282/2/21, pp. 14-15; see also Boas to 
Jochelson, 24 May 1906, APS) 

As far as the exact contents of Shternberg's manu- 
script were concerned, Boas was still in the dark, ex- 
cept that it was supposed to deal with "the tribes of 
both the Amur River and Saghalin." In his June 8, 1 906, 
letter to Shternberg, he wrote. 

Will you kindly let me know . . . the general 
contents of the paper that you would be 
willing and ready to write for the amount 
that I am able to offer you, and also when 
you will be ready to let me have the manu- 
script (AAN, 282/2/21, p. 16). 

On August 24, 1 906, Shternberg finally responded, 
blaming his long silence on the "political situation in 
Russia," which had prevented him from doing much 
serious work. Nonetheless, he promised to return to 
the Gilyak monograph and complete it in 10 or 12 
months. By that time, it must have been easier for him 
to turn his attention back to scholarship: a month ear- 
lier the government had disbanded the First Duma, 
and the revolutionary movement was on the decline. 
This letter also contained the first of Shternberg's many 
requests for an advance payment, which he justified 
by noting that while working on the manuscript for 
Boas, he had to set his journalistic writing aside and, 
consequently, stood to lose a substantial amount of 
money. It is ironic that while Boas' Russian colleagues 
(especially Bogoras and Shternberg) often failed to 
deliver their work to him on time, they also depended 
on the money he paid them for it and often reminded 
him of that. 

By 1 907, Boas was becoming increasingly anxious 
about the delay in receiving the Gilyak manuscript, 
especially since the first part of Bogoras' Chukchi mono- 
graph had already been typeset and Jochelson's Koryak 
manuscript was about to go to press (Boas to Shternberg, 
15 February 1907, 5 March 1908, APS; Boas to 
Bogoras, 16 August 1907, 4 May 1908, APS). In an- 
other letter, (27 September 1 907, APS), Boas suggested 
that to speed up the process, Shternberg should write 
in Russian and Boas would arrange to have the work 
translated into English. We do know that in 1907 
Shternberg was spending a fair amount of time work- 
ing on his monograph. However, various old and new 
distractions, such as the political upheaval in Russia, 
his heavy workload at the MAE and at the recently 
established Russian Division of the International Com- 
mittee for the Study of Central and Southern Asia, some 
part-time teaching, his heavy involvement in various 
Jewish political and cultural activities, and the need to 
earn money by writing popular articles, continued to 
interrupt his work.'" Except for a short essay on the 
inau cult of the Ainu for a Boas Festschrift {Shternberg 
1906b) and an important work on Gilyak folklore 
(Shternberg 1 908), he published little during this pe- 
riod. Hence, in his letters to Boas he repeatedly ex- 
tended the deadline for the manuscript's completion 
(see Shternberg to Boas, 28 March, 10 September 
1907, APS). He was also finding that the preliminary 
work of extracting the data from his field notebooks 
and rewriting it for the monograph was taking much 
longer than he had expected (Shternberg to Boas, 23 
December 1 907, APS). His letters show that he began 
his writing by dealing with those topics which were of 
most interest to him, that is, "social organization and 
[social] life," including kinship and marriage (Shternberg 
to Boas, 10 September 1907, APS). 

Boas' frustration with his Russian contributors' foot- 
dragging is very palpable in a letter of March 12,1 908, 
to Jochelson: 

I should like to say once more that I had to 
take considerable financial obligations in 



order to insure the completion of the Publica- 
tions of the Jesup Expedition and that I can 
meet these obligations only when the contribu- 
tors furnish me promptly with material, for the 
reason that I am paid always after the comple- 
tion of printed signatures. This is one of the 
reasons why I am constantly urging you and 
Mr. Bogoras and Mr. Shternberg to send me 
material. Otherwise I should be only too glad to 
be relieved of the necessity of pushing the 
editorial work so much that I hardly get time 
for anything else. (APS) 

The Manuscript Begins to Come In 
In mid-September 1908, on the eve of his departure 
for the Congress of Americanists in Vienna, Shternberg 
finally sent Boas the first section of the manuscript 
(Shternberg to Boas, 30 July, 1 9 September 1 908, APS). 
Its title, "The Cilyaks and Their Neighbors," suggests 
that he had finally been persuaded by Boas to com- 
pose a more rounded ethnography that extended be- 
yond the one ethnic group he knew best (Shternberg 
to Boas, 20 October 1 908, APS). On his return to Rus- 
sia, Shternberg became seriously ill and did not recover 
until the next spring (see Boas to Shternberg, 6 March 
1 909; Shternberg to Boas, 1 April 1 909, APS). This 
was unfortunate for Shternberg but helped him pro- 
ceed with the Cilyak manuscript. On October 1 6, Boas 
informed Shternberg that he had just received pages 
84 through 225 (Boas to Shternberg, APS). Throughout 
that year, checks from the AMNH were sent to 
Shternberg regularly. A new problem that arose in 1 909 
was a cutback in AMNH funding for the JNPE publica- 
tions, which forced Boas to undertake some "conden- 
sation" of the contributors' manuscripts (see letters from 
Boas to Bogoras and to Shternberg, 5 May 1 909, APS)." 

In 1910 Shternberg's work on the manuscript was 
once again interrupted: an MAE-sponsored expedition 
to the Russian Far East took him away from his desk for 
about five months. Shternberg hoped the new data on 
the Cilyak and other indigenous inhabitants of the lower 
Amur River and Sakhalin Island, especially the Nanay 
(Col'd), that he was planning to collect would enrich 
his contribution to Boas' series (Shternberg to Boas, 27 
May 1 91 0, APS). This did not really occur; because of 


the limitations imposed on his work by the demands 
of the MAE and the limited funding, he spent only short 
periods of time in each Native community and was 
rarely able to gather information thoroughly and sys- 
tematically (see his report on the expedition in AAN, 
282/1 1 3; see also Shternberg 1 933a). 

The end of 1 91 and the beginning of 1 91 1 brought 
new distractions and troubles to both Bogoras and 
Shternberg. Bogoras, who had apparently remained out 
on bail since his 1905 arrest, was finally given a jail 
sentence and was suffering from various old ailments.^^ 
Responding to appeals by Bogoras and Mrs. Bogoras , 
Boas had the American Anthropological Association 
pass a resolution on October 12,191 0, requesting that 
the Russian minister of justice allow Bogoras to have 
access to all the materials he needed to continue his 
scholarly work and to correspond freely with his col- 
leagues abroad, as well as his publisher (APS).'^" Thanks 
to Boas' efforts and those of several members of the 
Russian Academy of Sciences, Bogoras' sentence was 
reduced, and he was finally released in April 1911. 

In the meantime, Shternberg spent much of 191 1 
fighting accusations, leveled against him and Radloff 
by one of the MAE's collectors, that they had misappro- 
priated the museum's funds and had secretly sold part 
of his collection to a foreign dealer (AAN, 282/1/1 79- 
1 80)." Shternberg was eventually exonerated, but, be- 
ing a very sensitive and emotional person, he suffered 
greatly during the investigation and could hardly con- 
centrate on his work. In addition, in the early 1 91 Os he 
was doing a great deal of writing for a leading Russian- 
language Jewish newspaper, as well as other periodi- 
cals. Finally, he played a major role in advising Semeon 
(Shiomo) An-sky (Rappaport), the head of the famous 
Jewish ethnographic expedition of 1 91 2-1 5 (An-sky's 
letters to Shternberg, AAN, 282/2/1 75; Shternberg, ed. 
1914), and he participated actively in the work of a 
special bureau that advised the Duma on Jewish affairs. 

Despite these setbacks, in late 1911 -early 1 91 2 the 
Russian scholar returned to his Cilyak writing, and in 
the winter of 1912 he was able to send Boas "the 

23 1 

continuation of tlie manuscript containing the last 
chapters of the construction of the Cilyal< marriage" 
(Shternberg to Boas, 29 February 1912, APS). As he 
admitted in the same letter, this part of the mono- 
graph was the most difficult for him to complete be- 
cause it required a "great deal of comparatory [com- 
parative] and preparatory work" and rewriting. The new 
section of the manuscript mailed to Boas contained 
an ambitious comparative chapter that placed the 
Gilyak system of kinship and marriage in the context 
of the various North Asian and North American sys- 
tems. Shternberg was planning to devote the next few 
chapters to a discussion of Gilyak daily life and mar- 
riage customs and of the clan. 

This comparative segment of the manuscript be- 
came the subject of the paper Shternberg delivered in 
London at the 1 8th Congress of Americanists in June 
1912, in which he used his Siberian data to support 
Morgan's ideas about the "Turano-Ganowanian" kin- 
ship system (Shternberg 1912).^'' According to letters 
home, his work was well received by prominent British 
anthropologists Haddon and Rivers, even though by 
this time evolutionism was rapidly losing ground in 
western anthropology (AAN, 282/2/361 , pp. 95-1 03). 

While in London, Shternberg and Boas had a long 
discussion about his manuscript and worked out a plan 
for the entire publication, which was to be a rounded 
ethnography akin to the works of Bogoras and 
Jochelson, rather than Shternberg's topical monograph. 
Thus, in addition to the discussion of the social organi- 
zation of the Gilyak, which had been pretty much com- 
pleted, Shternberg promised to provide information on 
their natural environment, physical anthropology and 
demography, archaeology, history, material culture, lan- 
guage, folklore, art, and religion (see Shternberg to Boas, 
28 February 191 7, APS). 

Between the end of 1912 and the beginning of 
World War I, there was a steady exchange of letters 
between Shternberg and Boas indicating that the work 
on the monograph and its preparation for publication 
were progressing steadily. In fact. Boas' letter to 

Shternberg of October 26, 1 91 2 (APS), stated that he 
was about to send the Gilyak manuscript to the printer 
but was having some difficulty with the terms used for 
the various levels of the Gilyak social order. To clarify 
matters. Boas proposed a series of English terms that 
to him seemed to be adequate equivalents of the Gilyak 
ones. On December 1, 1912, Shternberg sent Boas a 
response in which he accepted many of his sugges- 
tions and answered most of his queries (AMNH). Vol- 
ume 8 of thejesup Expedition series, published in 1 91 3, 
carried an announcement that a monograph by Leo 
Sternberg, Tribes of the Amur River, would appear in 
volume 4, part 2, of the series— presumably replacing 
Laufer's monograph, which had been advertised in an 
earlier volume but never written. 

Swept Up in World Events 
Still, the work had not been fully completed, and that 
bothered Boas considerably, since the AMNH was 
clearly getting tired of his JNPE publication project. 
Shternberg, always a perfectionist, continued to tinker 
with his manuscript and complained about some inac- 
curacies in the English translation (Shternberg to Boas, 
23 June 1913, APS). To make matters worse, in the 
spring of 1 91 3 he had experienced another set of pro- 
fessional and political troubles, and he and his wife 
had suffered a major personal loss, the nature of which 
I have not been able to establish (see Boas to Shternberg, 
29 April 1913, AAN, 282/2/29, p. 5 1 ). On October 2, 
1913, Boas sent an exasperated letter to his Russian 
contributor, saying: 

Last time you wrote to me you said you were 
going to send me your manuscript very soon. I 
am exceedingly anxious to get your material. If 
I do not finish my work by the last of Decem- 
ber 1 91 5, the whole matter will be at an end, 
and I am simply held up by you. Can you not 
please finish your part of the work, so that we 
can at least go ahead with that part that has 
been translated? (AAM, 282/2/29, p. 54) 

On November 18, 1913, Boas acknowledged hav- 
ing just received the ill-fated manuscript and wrote 
that he was planning to send it to the printer very 



soon. He begged Shternberg to read the proofs as 
soon they reached him. One difficulty remained, how- 
ever; Boas could not print the table of contents, since 
he did not know exactly what Shtern berg's further plans 
were. He also continued to press his colleague to "keep 
up the work, because, as I told you several times, the 
time is drawing very near when the work must be 
closed. The whole labor after I receive your manu- 
script—translation, revision, etc.— means a great deal 
and consumes much time" (APS). 

Unfortunately, in 1914 it was Boas' turn to delay 
the publication of the Cilyak monograph. As he com- 
plained to Shternberg in an April 1 7 letter of that year: 

The delay in printing is due to the very great 
pressure of work here. It so happens that so 
much has accumulated this winter, that, 
although I made a start with your material 
several times, it had to be put aside again. 
My present plan is to take it up seriously in 
May, and it will then go to the printer at 
once. I do hope that you will go right on 
with your writing, so that we can get the 
whole matter under way before my contract 
expires. Even after I receive your manuscript, 
it will still take quite a little time before we 
can get it published. (AAN, 282/29, p. 57) 

With the onset of fighting in Europe, the work on 
the JNPE publications slowed even more. In a letter to 
Clark Wissler of the AMNH Department of Anthropol- 
ogy (10 October 191 5, AMNH), Boas mentioned that 
he had in hand a "paper" by Shternberg on the Cilyak, 
"although the actual printing will probably have to wait 
until the end of the war." On September 28, 1 91 6, he 
sent a similar message to Shternberg, saying that even 
though he now had the entire manuscript, he was "quite 
unable to send it to the printer. I do not receive the 
proofs that are sent to me from Leiden, and all printing 
has probably stopped" (AAN, 282/2/29, p. 62). 

Both Shternberg and Boas were deeply disturbed 
by the war in Europe, though for somewhat different 
reasons. As was the case with many other moderate 
former populists (who either joined or at least sympa- 
thized with the Socialist Revolutionaries, or SRs) and 
with liberals further to the right, Shternberg, like Bogoras, 

became a "defensist" (oboronets) patriot during the 
war and was very upset about Russia's losses 
(Melancon 1 990). In addition, he was deeply troubled 
by the anti-Jewish propaganda and violence commit- 
ted by the Russian army in those parts of the country 
where the fighting took place (Cassenschmidt 1 995)." 
Boas was upset about the war because it pitted his 
native country against his adopted one and its allies 
and demonstrated how brutal the most "civilized" Eu- 
ropeans could become. Along with some other liberal 
and leftist American intellectuals, he took a pacifist 
position that made him quite unpopular among his 
more conservative colleagues (Stocking, ed. 1974: 
331-5; Stocking 1992: 102-6). Boas' state of mind 
during this time is well captured in his September 28, 
1 91 6, letter to Shternberg: "I hope that at a later time 
I may write to you more fully. At present it is hardly 
possible to write about anything serious" (AAN, 282/ 
2/29, p. 62). 

Despite their preoccupation with the war, both schol- 
ars continued their administrative and scholarly work 
throughout this period, with Boas publishing his monu- 
mental Tsimshian Myths (Boas 1916) and Shternberg 
delivering several key lectures at the meetings of the 
Ethnography Division of the Russian Ceographic Soci- 
ety and publishing an important essay on comparative 
religion (Shternberg 1 91 6). Finally, during the war, after 
years of giving various small and unofficial ethno- 
graphic and museological seminars and lectures within 
the MAE walls, Shternberg received an opportunity to 
give regular lecture courses in "ethnography" (anthro- 
pology) at the "Higher Ceography Courses." 

The Fate of the Cilyak Manuscript after 
the Bolshevik Coup 

It is surprising that Shternberg's letter to Boas (prior to 
a six-year-long silence), written during the height of 
the revolution of February 1917, does not mention 
that event. After all, like the majority of Russia's 
intelligentsia, he enthusiastically welcomed the over- 
throw of the monarchy and the establishment of the 



Provisional Government, dominated by the liberals and 
the moderate socialists. From the time of the February 
Revolution until the beginning of 1918, he plunged 
into political activities, including those that would have 
been illegal before the fall of the emperor. As always, 
his most important political activity was journalism. 
He joined the staff of Volia naroda (People's Will), a 
newspaper reflecting the views of the most moderate 
wing of the SR party, which fully supported the poli- 
cies of the Provisional Government and was highly 
critical of the Bolsheviks. Following the October 191 7 
Bolshevik coup, the Volia naroda office was raided 
several times by the government and was finally closed 
down in February 1918. 

After that, Shternberg must have curtailed his SR 
activities, since he did not leave St. Petersburg (then 
called Petrograd) during the Civil War or go underground. 
Moreover, since he never placed his political involve- 
ment above his work at the MAE, he must have felt 
compelled to devote most of his energy to serving as 
its chief administrator after RadlofFs death in the spring 
of 1 91 8. The years between 1 91 8 and the early 1 920s 
were the most difficult in his life and in the lives of 
other Russian intellectuals. This was especially so in 
the capital, which was located very close to the front 
lines and where severe food and fuel shortages con- 
tributed to a general deterioration of economic and 
social life. In addition to these physical privations, 
Shternberg, Bogoras, and Jochelson suffered greatly from 
a travel and communication blockade that for several 
years cut them off from any contacts with their col- 
leagues abroad and from receipt of scholarly publica- 
tions (see Jochelson to Boas, 1 October 1 92 1 ; Bogoras 
to Boas, 1 7 February 1 923, APS). 

During this period, Petrograd experienced one of 
the worst manifestations of Bolshevik dictatorship and 
Red Terror. Many of Shternberg's colleagues and 
friends, who tended to be affiliated with the KD and 
SR parties, emigrated or were arrested. Shternberg and 
Jochelson, who had also been involved in Volia naroda, 
themselves fell victim to this terror on February 25, 

1 921 , when they were placed in the infamous "House 
of Preliminary Confinement" as part of a large-scale cam- 
paign of arrests conducted by the Bolshevik secret 
police in the city during the "Kronstadt Mutiny."^* For- 
tunately for the two ethnographers, a prominent Rus- 
sian writer, Maxim Gorky, intervened on behalf of some 
of the arrested intellectuals, and this led to their re- 
lease on March 2 (AAN, 282/1/102, p. 41). 

Although by the time of this brief arrest Shternberg 
had completely withdrawn from any anti-Soviet activ- 
ity, he remained dedicated to the populist ideology of 
his youth and to supporting his fellow populists. In the 
summer of 1922, this courageous man composed an 
appeal to the Soviet government, which was signed by 
a number of veteran populists, asking the government 
to be lenient toward and not shed the blood of the 
"right-wing SRs," on trial in Moscow at the time (AAN, 
282/1 /1 02, p. 42-3;Jansen 1 982). 

One might ask why Shternberg, who never became 
an ardent supporter of the Soviet regime, did not leave 
Soviet Russia, as Jochelson and a number of his other 
colleagues did.^^ My guess is that his dedication to the 
MAE, whose de facto director he was between 1918 
and 1 922, was a major reason for his decision to stay. 
In addition, it was under the new regime that he finally 
was given an opportunity to establish the teaching of 
anthropology at the university level, first in the Eth- 
nography Division of the Geography Institute and, be- 
ginning in the mid-1 920s, in the Ethnography Depart- 
ment of the Geography Division of Petrograd (later, 
Leningrad) University. Not only did he teach a variety 
of courses in those institutions; he served as well as 
the dean of the Ethnography Division and later of the 
Ethnography Department. He also brought Bogoras into 
these institutions, and the latter became his closest ally 
in the work of establishing what became known as the 
Leningrad ethnographic school (Ratner-Shternberg 1 935; 
Gagen-Torn 1 971 ; Staniukovich 1 971 ; AAN, 282/1/1 35 
and 1 79). 

With the death and departure of a number of promi- 
nent Russian ethnographers, Shternberg became one 



of the remaining leaders of the discipline, especially in 
Leningrad. Thanks to his and Bogoras' tireless efforts, 
the new regime came to recognize the importance of 
ethnography as a field of knowledge with practical ap- 
plications and as a major component of the higher- 
education curriculum and began supporting it finan- 
cially (Solovei 1 998). Shternberg must have understood 
that his departure would be a major blow to the young 
discipline to which he had devoted much of his life. 

After Dubnov, the long-time president of the Jewish 
Historical-Ethnographic Society, emigrated, Shternberg 
took on that job in 1 923 and also became the editor of 
the society's journal, Evreiskaia Star'ma, which he tried 
to make more anthropology-oriented (Shternberg 1 924, 
1928). It also appears that, like many other Russian 
intellectuals, he welcomed the degree of liberalization 
that occurred in the early-to-mid-1 920s, when the New 
Economic Policy reintroduced some private enterprise, 
censorship eased a bit, and travel abroad again became 
possible. Shternberg might have been hoping that the 
new regime would eventually become softer and more 
humane. In addition, until the late 1920s old populist 
revolutionaries who, like him and Bogoras, remained 
in the country and did not oppose the regime were 
treated by the regime with considerable respect. 

The resumption of scholarly contacts with the west 
in the early 1 920s allowed Boas to renew his ties with 
Shternberg and his other Russian colleagues. In Sep- 
tember 1921 he managed to send his first letter to 
jochelson; the latter shared it with Bogoras and 
Shternberg (see Jochelson to Boas, 1 October 1921). 
As far as the "ethno-troika" was concerned. Boas had 
two major worries: their physical survival, and the con- 
tinuation of their scholarly contributions to the various 
series of which he was the editor.3°To help support his 
Russian colleagues. Boas managed to get the AMNH 
president to commit museum funds to remunerate them 
for their writing. As Boas' identical letters to Bogoras 
and Shternberg, dated December 9, 1 92 1 , stated. 

President Osborn of the American Museum of 
Natural History has asked me to inquire what 

material connected with your research in 
Siberia you have on hand for immediate 
publication, the amount of time needed for 
this work and the financial remuneration 
expected. When he has received this data, he 
will consider what plan for publication can 
be adopted. (APS) 

Boas' primary goal was clearly to help his Russian friends, 
since this time he did not specify which projects he 
would like them to work on. Even in Shternberg's case, 
he did not name the Gilyak monograph but only men- 
tioned "some subject on the Amur River tribes" (Boas 
to Shternberg, 17 May 1922, AAN, 282/2/29, p. 66). 
The remuneration proposed by Osborn was quite gen- 
erous, especially for the starving Russian scholars: 
"$300 to be divided into equal monthly installments 
for the rest of the current year from the moment that 
the agreement goes in effect" (AAM, 282/2/29, p. 66).^' 
While Boas was rather vague about the work 
Shternberg was expected to do in return for this assis- 
tance, Shternberg himself was quite specific. In hisjune 
20, 1922, letter to Osborn, in which he accepted the 
museum's offer, he wrote about "preparing for you a 
part of my monograph on the Ciljaks, The Family and 
the Cens [Clan]" (AMNH). This suggests that he was 
planning to continue working on his Gilyak monograph. 
At the same time, it appears that after some 1 8 years 
of working on this book, he was beginning to get 
tired of it and that new research interests were occu- 
pying his mind at that time. Thus, in February 1 923, he 
wrote to Boas that he had recently prepared: 

a ready paper on the genesis of the idea of 
election in primitive religion, especially in the 
Siberian shamanism, developing entirely new 
and important facts of the psychology of the 
shamans, from my own observations and 
unknown manuscripts and from my corre- 
spondents. It is written in Russian and [is] 
now in the process of translation. It is not 
exactly the subject proposed by you, but for 
two reasons I prefer to send it as my firstling, 
1) because it concerns the religious ideas of 
all Siberian tribes including the North-Eastern 
ones, 2) I am till now uncertain about the 
fate of my first chapters on the Giljak; under 
such circumstances I am not sure if the 



continuation will not have the same fate as 
the preceding ones. Please let me know 
about it. In any case I do not cease to 
prepare my Giljak materials in attending your 
answer. (21 February 1923, APS) 

It is not clear why Shternberg was uncertain of the 
fate of the portion of the Cilyak manuscript that he 
had delivered to Boas 10 years earlier, but for some 
reason he felt that it was not ready for publication. 
Boas did not respond to this letter for over a year, but 
we do know from Jochelson's letter to Shternberg, 
written in March 1923 from New York (AAN, 282/2/ 
124, pp. 37-40), that he was not pleased with 
Shternberg's change of plans and was expecting him 
to "continue working on the materials for the Jesup 
Expedition . . . and not to send any theoretical articles 
to him." Jochelson also informed Shternberg that his 
American colleague was not going to help publish his 
"Divine Election" essay in an American journal. The fact 
that Boas was clearly losing patience with Shternberg 
is reflected in his May 1 , 1 924, letter to him: 

"I wonder what you have been doing in 
regard to the manuscript for the Museum. 
There has been such a delay in publishing 
your Cilyak material that I do not know just 
what to do. I should like to know particularly 
whether the manuscript which I have may be 
printed as it stands or whether you want to 
revise it" (AAN, 282/2/129, p. 72). 

In August 1 924, a reunion of Boas, Bogoras, and 
Shternberg took place at the 21st Congress of 
Americanists in the Hague and Coteborg. In addition 
to attending the congress, the two Russian scholars 
spent over two months in Europe buying books for 
the MAE and other Academy of Sciences institutions 
and libraries, reading the latest anthropological works, 
and conversing with foreign scholars. For both of them, 
this first trip abroad since the start of World War I was 
an exciting experience. They not only met many of 
their old colleagues and friends but also made impor- 
tant new contacts with prominent scholars from 
Scandinavia, England, France, Cermany, the United 
States, and other countries. For Shternberg, the 
most important links of this kind were the collegiate 


relationships he established with Eriand Nordenskiold, 
Charles Seligman, Paul Rivet, and Marcel Mauss (see 
AAN, 282/2/203 and 162). Conversations with them, 
combined with a great deal of reading, familiarized 
him with the new developments in western ethnology 
from which he had been cut off for almost a decade. 
Shternberg's essay (1926) reviewing these develop- 
ments demonstrated that while he was enthusiastic 
about some of them, such as Malinowski's Trobriand 
work, the extensive field research by Boas' students 
among American Indians, and the increased attention 
to psychological issues demonstrated by Seligman, 
W. H. Rivers, and others, he remained strongly commit- 
ted to evolutionism and was unhappy about the 
antievolutionist position most of his western colleagues 
had taken. 

As always, Shternberg used his foreign trip not only 
to visit museums and learn about new work in his field 
but also to observe local political and social life, in- 
cluding left-wing and Jewish activities. His letters to his 
wife written on this trip (AAN, 282/2/361 ) indicate that, 
despite his and Bogoras' ongoing disagreements with 
Soviet government policies, they thought of themselves 
and were treated as the official representatives not only 
of the Academy of Sciences but also of their new state. 
While the majority of the scholars they met were cour- 
teous toward them, Shternberg felt that those with more 
liberal and leftist views were particularly friendly. Among 
them were Mauss and Rivet (both socialists) and Boas 
himself. Shternberg wrote home about his old Ameri- 
can colleague, 

"Boas spent most of his time with us and did 
it as a demonstration to others, even though 
he was the central figure at the congress. Our 
interaction with him was not only scholarly 
but personal and political. As far as his soc. 
[socialist?] views are concerned . . . they are 
very similar to ours; I might even say he is 
more radical than I am" (AAN, 282/2/361, 
pp. 202-3a). 

The last sentence suggests that Boas, who in the 
1 920s became quite sympathetic toward the new So- 
viet regime, might have been more idealistic about life 


in the USSR, which he observed from a distance, than 
his Russian colleagues, who experienced it first hand 
(see Jochelson to Shternberg, 12 March 1923, AAN, 
282/2/1 24, p. 24). Although toward the end of the 
1 920s and in the 1 930s, Boas became more critical of 
the political and ideological climate in the USSR (APS), 
he remained a strong advocate of Soviet-American 
scholarly cooperation. In the 1 930s, using his ties with 
Bogoras, he helped several young American ethnolo- 
gists go to Leningrad to study and do research at the 
MAE and brought one Soviet ethnography student, 
Juliia Averkieva, to study with him in New York and 
accompany him to the field (see Krupnik 1 998).^-^ 

As Shternberg wrote to Boas prior to his departure 
for western Europe, he was anticipating being scolded 
by him for taking so long to complete the Cilyak manu- 
script (Shternberg to Boas, 5 July 1924, APS). His ex- 
pectations proved correct, as his letters to his wife and 
especially Boas' October 29, 1 924, letter to him indi- 
cate. Since this was Boas' last detailed communication 
to Shternberg on the subject, it is worth quoting a large 
section of it here. 

My dear Dr. Sternberg: 

Allow me to very briefly repeat the various 
points that we discussed and partly agreed 
upon at our meeting this summer. First of all, 
you agreed to send me the chapter on the 
social organization, history, and statistics of 
the Cilyak, which is to be covered by the 
payment of $300 that was made to you 
about two years ago by the Museum. I am 
retaining one part of your manuscript which 
forms part of this chapter. Furthermore you 
made the following proposal: to finish by 
August 1925 the chapter on mythology and 
folk-lore of the Cilyak; by March 1926 the 
chapter on religion and history; by August 
1 926 the chapter on material culture. You 
asked that if you were to undertake this, the 
sum of $2,000 a year be paid to you for the 
years 1925 and 1926. Furthermore you 
estimated that the sum of $500 would be 
required for illustrations, translations, and so 
on. Furthermore you were going to include 
material on the Col'd and Ainu in your 
manuscript, which you were going to deliver 
in English. (APS) 

It appears that by this time Boas had realized that 
to get his Russian friend to complete this work, he 
simply had to make him commit to a definite sched- 
ule. It is worth noting, however, that Boas left the door 
open for the possibility that, after 20 years of waiting 
for the Shternberg manuscript, the AMNH administra- 
tion might refuse to continue paying him. As Boas put 
it, "I have, of course, not been in a position to make 
any arrangements, and it remains to be seen what I 
can do" (APS)." Shternberg's December 24, 1 924, re- 
sponse to this letter shows that he was well aware of 
Boas' impatience. In it, he informed his friend that he 
was working on the "continuation of the social cul- 
ture," which was to be "not of a small size." Clearly 
dissatisfied with Alexander Coldenweiser's translation 
of his manuscript, he was going to have it translated in 
Russia. He also wrote about a new obstacle he had to 
overcome in order to complete the Cilyak book: very 
poor health (APS). 

That was not the only factor hindering his Cilyak 
work. On their return to Russia, he and Bogoras were 
forced to engage in a major battle with zealous Marx- 
ist education officials to save the curriculum they had 
developed for the Ethnology Division of the Ceogra- 
phy Institute from the introduction of new ideologi- 
cally driven courses and the reduction of fundamental 
academic ones (Ratner-Shternberg 1935). Although 
they did win a partial victory, the ideological climate 
in the country was clearly beginning to change, and, 
consequently, the higher education curriculum was be- 
coming increasingly politicized (Solovei 1 998; Konecny 
1999). In addition, in 1924-25 Shternberg's work at 
the MAE kept him very busy. On the one hand, he had 
to deal with periodic confrontations between his own 
faction and that of the museum director, Academician 
Karskii (Ratner-Shternberg 1 928; Reshetov 1 996; AAN, 
282/4/9, pp. 1 65-72).^'' On the other hand, in the mid- 
1920s he was able to use increased government 
support for the MAE to finally begin work on his pet 
project— the department for the "evolution and typol- 
ogy of culture" (Staniukovich 1 978). 



Consequently, by April 1925, Boas still had not re- 
ceived any new installments of the Cilyak manuscript 
(see Boas to Wissler, 5 April 1926, AMNH; Boas to 
Shternberg, 9 April 1 925, APS). By the end of that year, 
he finally heard from Shternberg, who hinted at the 
difficulties he had to deal with "during this trouble- 
some year." That letter also contained a puzzling post- 
script saying that he had not received a copy of his 
manuscript and was anxious to get it. Does this suggest 
that Shternberg wished to see the material he had sent 
to Boas before World War I, to make changes in it? 

By the end of summer 1 926, Boas was clearly fed 
up with his two Russian colleagues, and on August 1 4 
he sent them rather stern letters which seemed to sug- 
gest that he was giving them one last chance to com- 
plete their work. His letter to Bogoras said: 

I have been hoping for all these many months, 
or years, to get the promised material from 
yourself and from Sternberg. I made myself 
responsible for it at that time to the Museum 
and I feel in a very awkward position because 
nothing comes. Can you not find your Eskimo 
material that you promised me and let me have 
it? (APS) 

The one to Shternberg was similar in tone and even 
went so far as to remind the addressee that he had 
failed to repay Boas for the help offered to him in the 
early 1 920s: 

May I not hope that you will send me some- 
time, the material on the Amur tribes that you 
promised me? I am, of course, in a very awk- 
ward position because at the time when I got 
the Museum to help you out I undertook to 
promise that you would furnish a certain 
amount of work, so that the responsibility in a 
way rests with me. (APS) 

Despite its severity, the letter ended on a more ami- 
cable note: "But setting aside the point, I should like, 
of course, very much to have the valuable information 
on these tribes for publication." 

Little did Boas know that this would be his last 
letter to Shternberg. The latter took over half a year to 
respond, prevented from doing so by poor health, his 
various duties at the university and the museum, and a 

long and arduous trip to Japan to attend the Third 
Pacific Scientific Congress in November 1926. In his 
own last communication with Boas, dated September 
1 5, 1926 (APS), Shternberg mentioned that he was 
about to embark on this trip and complained that 
he would much rather have attended the 22nd 
Americanist Congress, to be held in Rome during the 
same month, where he had hoped to see his old friend. 
However, he did have some good news for Boas con- 
cerning the Gilyak manuscript: "a great deal is done, it 
waits now only to be translated and after my return it 
will be finished." The letter indicates that Shternberg 
felt guilty about his having received money for work 
that took so long to complete: "I am happy to be able 
. . . not only to send the Museum my work, but also to 
pay my debt by cash what I hope to make either from 
Japan or after my return." 

Unfortunately, afterthejapanese trip, which included 
a visit to the Hokkaido Ainu, Shternberg came home 
exhausted and unwell. He never fully recovered, and 
he passed away on August 24, 1 927. From his wife's 
November 4, 1927, letter to Boas (APS), we learn that 
only a few days before his death he was still working 
on the Gilyak manuscript. 

Unaware of Shternberg's illness, and still frustrated 
with his colleague's constant promises. Boas no longer 
wrote to him. Instead, he sent a letter to Bogoras, with 
whom he was about equally frustrated but who had 
always been his closest friend in the "ethno-troika": 

Jochelson tells me that you wrote to him that 
you hoped to send me the Eskimo material this 
spring. I devoutly hope that this may be the 
case. I believe you know how embarrassing it is 
to me that this matter is still hanging; both in 
your case and that of Mr. Sternberg. It is not 
the question that Mr. Sternberg has to furnish 
an enormous amount of material, but if he 
would only send a little of his Gilyak work; 
whatever may seem most convenient to him. 
(Boas to Bogoras, 25 February 1927, APS) 

This letter shows that by 1927 Boas had become so 
frustrated with Shternberg, and so uncomfortable 
vis-a-vis the AMNH, that he was willing to publish any 
Gilyak manuscript of his, regardless of its content. 



The Saga of the Gilyak Manuscript after 
Shternberg's Death 

Shternberg's death was a major blow to Boas. Aside 
from the stop it put to his decades-long efforts to 
procure a substantial monograph on the peoples of 
the Russian Far East, it took away a dear old friend and 
colleague (see Boas to Bogoras, 31 October 1927, 
APS). At the 23rd Americanist Congress, held in Sep- 
tember 1 928, Boas memorialized Shternberg as "the 
leader of the Russian ethnologists" who was an out- 
standing specialist on the peoples of the Amur River 
and Sakhalin Island and whose "influence over the study 
of ethnology extended over the whole world." He also 
described him as "a dear, personal friend" whose loss 
Boas was "feeling keenly" (Boas 1 930:xxviii-xxix). 

Two years later, at the next congress, Boas offered 
a more detailed assessment of his friend's scholarly 
contributions (Boas 1 934:xl-xli). Since this was a con- 
gress of Americanists, he stressed the importance of 
Shternberg's ethnographic research for the establish- 
ment of cultural links between America and the Old 
World. He also referred to him as someone who since 
1900 "had been our colleague and participant in the 
publications of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, 
whose work represented a major element of that 
project." As far as Shternberg's theoretical position was 
concerned. Boas did express his reservations about it. 
He stated that his colleague had observed "unique 
forms of group marriage and kinship system which he 
interpreted in terms of Morgan's theory" and that made 
him "one of the most zealous recent defenders of the 
entire Morganian scheme and the general evolution- 
ary theory." He went on to say that "no matter what 
our attitude towards these theories might be, his 
important observations must be taken into serious 
consideration." He also stressed the importance of 
Shternberg's work on the religion of the Amur River 
peoples, which he had used as data for his general 
theory of religion. Finally, Boas praised the decedent's 
work at the MAE and Leningrad University and con- 
cluded that those who called him "the Russian Bastian" 


were not incorrect. Closing his remarks on a personal 
note, he called Shternberg one of his "most modest 
and amiable comrades whose friendship I consider to 
be one of the most valuable memories of my life." 

After nearly giving up on ever being able to pub- 
lish his friend's manuscript. Boas must have been pleas- 
antly surprised to receive a letter from Shternberg's 
widow a couple of months after his death informing 
him that she had found a manuscript on the "Gilyak 
family and clan" among her late husband's papers (see 
Grant 1 999:xlvii-liv). Sarra (Ratner-)Shternberg asked 
whether she should send it to Boas and whether Boas 
had any unpublished parts of the same work in his 
possession (S. Shternberg to Boas, 4 November 1 927, 
APS). Two weeks later. Boas replied that he was happy 
to learn about her discovery, did have "the first part" of 
Shternberg's work, and was still interested in publish- 
ing it after all those years (Boas to S. Shternberg, 1 9 
November 1927, APS). On January 26, 1928, Ratner- 
Shternberg replied that she was trying to verify her late 
husband's transliteration of Native words with the help 
of the Gilyak students from the Northern Section of 
Leningrad's Oriental Institute but that such work took a 
while to complete (APS). On March 19-20, 1928, she 
informed Boas that she had recently mailed him the 
entire manuscript except for the sections dealing with 
Gilyak language and folklore, which she wrongly as- 
sumed to have been copies of the materials that had 
been sent to him long ago. Boas did receive the manu- 
script, but, as he informed Mrs. Shternberg, who was 
becoming increasingly impatient about the delays in 
printing it (see S. Shternberg to Boas, 25 October 1 928, 
APS), "we are going to publish the manuscript of Pro- 
fessor Sternberg but conditions here are such that pub- 
lication always very slow" (Boas to S. Shternberg, 1 7 
January 1929, APS). 

Having begun to doubt whether her late husband's 
monograph would ever be printed in the United States, 
Sarra Shternberg put her energy into trying to get it 
published in her own country. Several of her husband's 
students, particularly E. A. Kreinovich, who had already 


undertaken extensive field research among the Sak- 
halin Gilyak (Kreinovich 1973) and was fluent in their 
language, were recruited to help in this work. Her 
efforts finally paid off when large portions of the Gilyak 
monograph appeared in two collections of Shtern- 
berg's published and unpublished works (Shternberg 
1933a, 1933b; see also Grant 1 999;xlvii-liv). Still, 
Ratner-Shternberg refused to give up on the English- 
language publication of her husband's monograph and 
recruited Averkieva, who had come back to Leningrad 
after studying and conducting research in the United 
States, to work on (re)translating it into English (see 
Grant 1999:xlix). 

During the early 1 930s, Boas, too, was still hoping 
to publish the Gilyak monograph. He mentioned that 
in his speech about Shternberg at the 1 930 Americanist 
Congress in Germany, and he promised Ratner- 
Shternberg in his September 8, 1 931 , letter (quoted in 
Grant 1 999:240) that her husband's manuscript was next 
in line after the JNPE volume dealing with physical 
anthropology, which had just been published (Oetteking 
1930). By this time, Boas' declining health was a new 
factor in the slowing down of the publication process 
(see Boas to Bogoras, 2 June 1 932, APS). Nevertheless, 
work continued. Even as late as 1 933, an exchange of 
portions of the manuscript between Boas and Mrs. 
Shternberg was still taking place and in his last letter to 
her, dated March 1 7, 1 933 (APS), Boas wrote that he had 
finally received it from her and was going "to try to get 
the printing started just as soon as possible." Three 
days later, he sent a similar letter to Wissler at the AMNH 
(20 March 1 933, AMNH). The latter responded the next 
day, informing Boas that although the museum's bud- 
get was "somewhat disorganized at present," he had 
asked for an appropriation to cover the printing of the 
paper. By late May of that year, the entire matter seems 
to have been settled, and the Brill company was ready 
to proceed with the publication of Shternberg's work 
as part 2 of volume 4 in the JNPE series (Wissler to 
Boas, 27 April 1933; Brill to Boas, 24 May 1933; Boas 
to Wissler, 25 May 1 933, AMNH). 


Final Collapse 

The manuscript's saga, however, was not to have a 
happy ending. Having given up on Boas, Ratner- 
Shternberg sent him her last two angry letters on Feb- 
ruary 2 and June 10, 1934 (APS). Between that year 
and 1 939, no correspondence related to the Gilyak 
manuscript seems to have been generated (or, at least, 
could be found by Grant or myself). We do not know 
exactly what caused the delays in publishing the un- 
fortunate manuscript, but most likely it was a combi- 
nation of the financial difficulties Brill was having, due 
to a worldwide economic depression, and Boas' ad- 
vancing old age, which prevented him from taking care 
of his editorial duties promptly. The latter factor seems 
to have been the main reason for the sad fate of the 
Gilyak manuscript. A June 1 939 letter from the pub- 
lisher to Boas sheds light on the situation: "A short 
time ago, I . . . received the request whether a further 
volume of the publication of the American Museum of 
Natural History might be expected. I see in the previ- 
ous letters that you wrote me about 5 years ago, that 
you had not been able to finish the editorial work of 
volume IV, part 2 of the Jesup Expedition as the Mem- 
oirs of the Museum" (17 June 1939, AMNH). Despite 
this setback, the publisher was still willing to proceed 
with the publication and was awaiting Boas' quick re- 
sponse. Boas' letter to Brill, written on June 30, 1939 
(AMNH), blamed the enormous delay on his having been 
too busy with other projects in the past few years and 
on Shternberg's death, which made the final editing 
difficult. He also mentioned the need to obtain the 
AMNH's consent for the continuation of the publica- 
tion. My guess is that Boas had not anticipated the 
amount of editorial work the manuscript still required. 
With its author deceased and Boas' communications 
with Soviet ethnographers having come to an end by 
the mid-1 930s (see Krupnik 1 998:208-9), it must have 
been very difficult for him to deal with the various mi- 
nor questions and problems, particularly terminologi- 
cal ones, that arose during the publication process. 
What Boas' letter to Brill did not mention was that, 


since his retirement from Columbia University in 1 937, 
he had become increasingly involved in writing essays 
for nonacademic publications on such burning issues 
of the day as the Nazi threat and intellectual freedom 
in the United States (Stocking 1992:106-10). His de- 
clining health was also slowing down this energetic 
and prolific scholar. 

Boas' interest in the remaining unpublished manu- 
scripts of the JNPE revived two years later, with the 
arrival in New York of the great Russian linguist Ro- 
man Jakobson. Boas asked Jakobson to compare the 
English-language version of the Shternberg manuscript 
with the 1 933 Soviet publications on the same subject 
(Boas to Wissler, 31 July 1 941 , AMNH). Jakobson must 
have convinced Boas that the Russian-language publi- 
cations were essentially the same as or very similar to 
the manuscript in his possession. Since Wissler's Octo- 
ber 1941 letter (AMNH) had informed Boas that the 
museum's publication budget was at that time "hope- 
lessly deficient," Jakobson's argument must have pro- 
vided Boas with an excuse to end his four decades of 
efforts to try to publish the Cilyak manuscript. With 
World War II raging in Europe and the Pacific, nobody 
had the energy or the resources to commit to this mat- 
ter. Boas' last letter to Wissler on the subject, written 
eight months before his death, sums up his thoughts: 

As you remember the report by Sternberg on 
the Cilyak has been hanging for a long time. I 
have the whole manuscript ready, but owing 
to financial conditions of the world and the 
death of Dr. Sternberg, nothing could be 
done. I have had the Russian publications by 
Sternberg relating to the Cilyak investigated 
and I find that all the material has been 
published in Russian, so it seems to me there 
is no sense in trying to publish it now in 
English. ... I think it would be best to use 
this translation as a book in your library. (1 6 
April 1942, AMNH) 

After 1942, the Cilyak manuscript remained in 
the AMNH library, where it was consulted by such lu- 
minaries of anthropology as Claude Levi-Strauss, who 
referred to it as "a work of exceptional value and in- 
sight" (1969:292) and who relied heavily on it in his 


discussion of "generalized exchange" systems. On sev- 
eral occasions, the AMNH entertained the idea of pub- 
lishing it. Thus, in 1950 Harry Shapiro of the AMNH 
Anthropology Department sent the manuscript for re- 
view to Kroeber, who praised the work's data but not 
its theoretical framework. Encouraged by this review, 
Shapiro attempted to recruit Shimkin, a Russian-born 
ethnologist trained in the United States, to undertake 
the editing needed to get the manuscript published. 
Despite his interest in the project, Shimkin eventually 
withdrew because of lack of time (see his correspon- 
dence with Shapiro, AMNH). 

The next attempt to publish the monograph was 
made in 1 958-62 by Needham (1 962, 1 971 ) whose in- 
terest in its account of the Cilyak marriage system had 
been stimulated by Levi-Strauss's work. Once again, 
nothing happened. But 40 years later, the saga of the 
Cilyak manuscript finally ended on a happy note. 

Comparison of the Manuscripts 
I would like to briefly compare the content of "Social 
Organization of the Cilyak" with that of Shternberg's 
1 904 Cilyak monograph. My purpose is to establish 
what exactly Shternberg had been able to write for Boas 
between their first encounter and the time of his death. 
I will also compare "Social Organization of the Cilyak" 
with the other two major Russian contributions to the 
JNPE publications, Bogoras' Chukchi and Jochelson's 
Koryak monographs. 

As far as the ethnographic data is concerned, 
Shternberg did not add a great deal to the material 
that had already appeared in his 1 904 monograph. 
Having reviewed his field notes, I have concluded that 
he actually did not have much to add to what he had 
included in that earlier work. In fact, some portions of 
"Social Organization of the Cilyak" repeat almost ver- 
batim long passages from "Ciliaki" (e.g., the discussion 
of the clan). However, from the point of view of inter- 
preting that data and theorizing, "Social Organization" 
is a very different kind of work. For example, whereas 
the 1 904 essay presents a tri-clan model of Cilyak 


marriage, the monograph written for Boas describes a 
more complex one, consisting minimally of four clans 
and ideally of five (Shternberg 1999:79-83). Most im- 
portant, in "Social Organization," Shternberg examines 
the Gilyak system of kinship and marriage not in isola- 
tion but in the context of a number of other indig- 
enous Siberian and even northern North American forms 
of social organization (Shternberg 1999:31-8). This 
discussion allows the author to show both the similari- 
ties and the differences between the Gilyak cases and 
the others. "Social Organization" also utilizes the Gilyak, 
as well as other Siberian data, to demonstrate the fun- 
damental validity of Morgan's hypothesis while point- 
ing out its shortcomings. 

Thus, unlike Bogoras and Jochelson, who worked 
under Boas' close supervision and produced the de- 
tailed, comprehensive, and largely descriptive mono- 
graphs that he favored, Shternberg wrote a more mod- 
ern-style topical and theory-driven work. It was, in this 
sense, not unlike the monographs that began to appear 
in the 1 920s and 1 930s, particularly in England, where, 
during that time, interest in social organization tended 
to be stronger than in the United States. In some ways 
"Social Organization" reads as a much more modern 
work than The Chukchee or The Koryak or, for that 
matter, Swanton's Contributions to the Ethnology 
of the Haida (1 905). However, if we consider these 
monographs' lasting significance as rich sources of 
important ethnographic data for subsequent genera- 
tions of scholars (and the Native people themselves), 
the works of Bogoras, Jochelson, Swanton, and Boas 
himself (e.g., Boas 1 909) are more reliable and valuable 
than Shtern berg's Gilyak monograph. Nonetheless, one 
cannot dismiss the entire monograph out of hand: those 
sections that were based on the author's careful first- 
hand observations continue to be used and appreci- 
ated by scholars (e.g., Black 1973; Kreinovich 1973; 
Smoliak 1975; Taksami 1975; Ostrovskii 1997). We 
dan only regret that Shternberg did not have the time 
to include in his monograph other Gilyak materials he 
had collected. For example, his portrayal of Gilyak 

culture would have been much more comprehensive 
had he included his rich and interesting data on Gilyak 
religion, language, and folklore or had he tried more 
systematically to demonstrate the interrelationship be- 
tween the Gilyak social and ideational orders, as he 
did in the last three chapters of "Social Organization," 
dealing with the clan." 

In closing I would like to sum up the main reasons 
for Shtern berg's inability to complete his Gilyak mono- 
graph and Boas' failure to get it published. While much 
of the blame for the former must be laid on the various 
distractions that kept Shternberg from completing his 
work, his own personality also played a role. Unlike 
Boas, who was extremely thorough and systematic in 
his work and did his best to complete the research he 
had started, Shternberg preferred to write only on those 
topics that really interested him and, consequently, left 
a number of unfinished projects. Several of his col- 
leagues and students (e.g., Bogoras 1928:16) pointed 
out that Shternberg found the research involved in the 
initial preparation of a lecture or a paper more interest- 
ing than completing an article, let alone a monograph, 
for publication. In fact, toward the end of his life he 
would often say that his students were going to be the 
ones to finish the various projects he had initiated (AAN, 

Furthermore, Shternberg set very high standards for 
himself and refused to publish an article or a mono- 
graph that he did not consider to have been thoroughly 
researched and flawlessly written. That is why, I be- 
lieve, he kept tinkering endlessly with "Social Organi- 
zation." In that respect, he was closer to Boas than to 
Bogoras, who sometimes published works which had 
not been thoroughly researched or thought out. 

At the same time, although Shternberg was ex- 
tremely dedicated to his scholarly work, he was just 
as passionate about his participation in the Russian 
and Jewish liberation movements as he was about 
anthropology. In this respect, he differed from Boas, 
who, while being a conscientious public intellectual 
who spoke and wrote more about many of the 


burning political issues than most of his fellow anthro- 
pologists in the United States, still tended to place 
scholarship above political involvement (Stocking 
1 992). Finally, we should not forget that except for 
the last decade of his life, when he became the head 
of the Ethnography Division of the Geography Institute 
and later of the Ethnography Department of the Geog- 
raphy Division of Leningrad University, and also a mem- 
ber of the Academy of Sciences, Shternberg was al- 
ways struggling to survive on his modest MAE salary 
and was forced to spend a good deal of time doing 
journalistic work. Had this not been the case, he would 
likely have left behind a more substantial body of pub- 
lished scholarly works. 

Thus, one cannot blame Boas for failing to obtain a 
completed monograph from "the Russian Bastian." On 
the contrary, Boas' relentless efforts to make Shternberg 
and the rest of the Russian "ethno-troika" finish their 
various scholarly projects are worthy of admiration. I 
am sure that Boas did not like constantly badgering his 
Russian friends. In the end, instead of criticizing Boas 
for failing to complete the editorial work on "Social 
Organization of the Gilyak," we should give him credit 
for encouraging Shternberg to work on the manuscript 
and for procuring a number of important monographs 
and essays from Bogoras and Jochelson. Those of us 
who have ever been engaged in any editorial work 
ourselves cannot but appreciate what Boas managed 
to accomplish in this area, despite the odds. 


I would like to thank Igor Krupnik for thoughtful and 
stimulating comments on an earlier version of this pa- 
per and Bruce Grant for sharing with me several perti- 
nent Russian publications, as well as a number of ma- 
terials he had found in the Shternberg archive. I must 
express special gratitude to Mikhail Fainshtein, associ- 
ate director of the St. Petersburg Branch of the Russian 
Academy of Sciences Archive, for all the help and ad- 
vice he has been generously giving me since 1 998. 


1 . The 1 993 paper was recently published as 
Kan 2000. 

2. Throughout this paper, documents from the 
AAN archive are cited in the following manner: 
282 [fond/collection] (Shternberg archive)/! 
[opis'/section]/! 00 [delo/file], p. 1 [list/page]. 

3. My research was supported by a fellowship 
from the National Endowment for the Humanities 
and by a Dartmouth College Claire Garber Goodman 
Grant and a Rockefeller Social Science Grant. 

4. The expression "ethno-troika" was coined 
by Bogoras (1927:269). 

5. For the main Russian-language publications 
detailing Shternberg's life and scholarly contribu- 
tions, see Bogoras 1 927, 1 928, 1 930; Krol' 1 929, 
1 944; Ratner-Shternberg 1 928, 1 935; Ol'denburg 
and Samoilovich 1930; Gagen-Torn 1971, 1975; 
Staniukovich 1 971 , 1 986. Sarra Ratner-Shternberg's 
unpublished biography of her late husband (AAN, 
282/4/9) is the most detailed source of informa- 
tion on this subject. 

6. See Shternberg's extensive correspondence 
with Krol' (AAN, 282/2/363). Krol' was himself ar- 
rested, in 1 887, and in 1 890 he was exiled for five 
years to Irkutsk Province, where he conducted eth- 
nographic research among the Buryat (Krol' 1 944). 

7. Although the standard modern term for 
this ethnic group is Nivkh (pi. Nivkhi), I use the 
pre-revolutionary "Gilyak," which was used by 
Shternberg himself and was retained by Grant in 
the title of Shternberg's monograph (Shternberg 

8. Shternberg's evolving views on the rela- 
tionship between language and the "inner" or "psy- 
chological" aspects of a people's culture and the 
need for the ethnographer to use the local Native 
language in field research may be compared with 
those developed by Boas at about the same time 
(see Stocking, ed. 1 974). 

9. In the summers of 1 892, 1 893, and 1 894 
Shternberg visited the various Native settlements 
on Sakhalin, and in the summers of 1 895 and 1 896 
he conducted ethnographic work along the Amur 
River (see Shternberg 1 900:387-8). During the rest 
of the year he made only occasional brief visits 
to the nearby Gilyak settlements. 

1 0. The limitations of Shternberg's ethnogra- 




phy did not stem from any lack of rapport with 
the Natives. Most of them— especially those who 
eventually became his "key informants" and 
friends— trusted and liked the kind man who they 
considered to be a "big Russian official" and to 
whom they brought their complaints against the 
local administration and even turned for assistance 
in settling their internal disputes (Shternberg's 
1891 diary, AAN, 282/1/3, p. 100). Students of 
his who, 30 years later, worked in some of the 
same places that he had visited reported that 
many of the older people still remembered him 
fondly (Kreinovich 1973). 

1 1 . One should keep in mind that on Sakhalin, 
Shternberg had no access to Gilyak dictionaries 
or to linguistic studies of that language (Shternberg 
1900:389). Most scholars of the Gilyak language 
agree that although he never became fluent, his 
command of the language was good and his analy- 
sis of its structure quite adequate, especially con- 
sidering the fact that he was a true pioneer in this 
field (Kreinovich's 1 968 manuscript, AAN, 282/1 / 
205; Ekaterina Gruzdeva, personal communication, 

1 2. Although for obvious ideological reasons 
Soviet scholars asserted that Shternberg had read 
Engels' book before his exile (Grant 1999:xxiv), I 
found no evidence of that. According to 
Shternberg's letters to Krol', he was reading the 
book on Sakhalin in 1889. Two years later, he 
asked his friend to send him a copy of "Morgan's 
book," which I assume was Ancient Society {Mor- 
gan 1877) (AAN, 282/2/1 57, p. 61). 

13. Although Shternberg was well aware of 
the impact— much of which he characterized as 
negative— of Chinese, Japanese, and Russian cul- 
tures on Gilyak culture, he chose not to concen- 
trate on this topic in his ethnographic writing. In 
fact, his discourse on this issue sounds very 
Boasian, as, for example, in the following passage: 

Despite a long period of submission to the 
Manchurians and a destructive influence of 
the vagabond [Russian] population of the 
Amur region, the Gilyak moral order has 
retained many virtues of the primitive/ 
prehistoric [pervobytnyi] peoples. However, 
their way of life is totally doomed. In one or 
maximum two generations, the Gilyaks of the 
mainland will become completely Russified 

and along with the benefits of civilization 
[kul'tura] they will also acquire all of its vices. 
(Shternberg 1893: 19) 

14. Shternberg used his Gilyak and Orochi 
data to defend Morgan and Lubbock against at- 
tacks by such scholars as Starcke and Kautsky. 

1 5. Later ethnographers, particularly Smoliak 
(1 975), who combined extensive ethnographic re- 
search among the Gilyak and other Native peoples 
of the lower Amur River region with systematic 
archival research, argued that Gilyak intermarriage 
with other indigenous and exogenous ethnic 
groups influenced the character of many of their 
settlements, making close adherence to the mar- 
riage rules described by Shternberg very difficult 
(seeTaksami 1 975). 

1 6. See Shternberg's description of the Gilyak 
clan as being "a striking combination of collec- 
tive solidarity and individual freedom" (1 933a:59). 

17. Despite its focus on social organization, 
the 1 904 monograph gives considerable attention 
to religion. This is a major difference between it 
and the 1 893 piece. With over 30 pages devoted 
to the discussion of this topic, Shternberg demon- 
strates his considerable knowledge of Gilyak be- 
liefs and, to a somewhat lesser extent, religious 
practices. Although he uses evolutionist terminol- 
ogy (especially Tylor's), Shternberg no longer char- 
acterizes the Gilyak religion as very primitive, dem- 
onstrating that his evolutionism was far from con- 
sistent (see Shternberg 1 933a:51). 

18. See Freed et al. 1988; Kuz'mina 1994; 
Krupnik and Vakhtin 1997; Krupnik 1998; Cole 
1 999:1 85-260, as well as Vakhtin's and Cole's con- 
tributions to this volume. 

1 9. See Pilsudskii's November 4, 1 898, letter 
to Shternberg, describing Laufer's field research 
on Sakhalin (Latyshev 1996:161-2); Laufer's May 
1 0, 1 899, letter to Boas (AMNH); and Boas' report 
on the JNPE (1903:93-8), which includes Laufer's 
account of his adventures on Sakhalin. 

20. Laufer also published a 30-page essay of 
miscellaneous ethnographic data (Laufer 1 900). 

21. In 1 907 Shternberg became one of the 
founders and chief ideologues of the Jewish 
People's Group {Evreiskaia narodnaia gruppa), 
and in 1 908 he got actively involved in the work 
of the newly established Jewish Historical and 
Ethnographic Society (Gassenschmidt 1995). 



22. Boas was planning to publish the "over- 
flow" JNPE materials in a new Columbia Univer- 
sity series (see Boas to Bogoras, 22 May 1909, 

23. See, for example, Bogoras' letters to Boas 
sent between October 7, 1910, and April 6, 1911, 
and Boas' letters to Bogoras, dated October 12, 
1910 (APS). 

24. Boas was also responsible forthe AMNH's 
director's appeal to the same minister on behalf 
of Bogoras (see Osborn to Shcheglovitov, 28 Febru- 
ary 1911, AMNH). 

25. To make matters worse, these accusations 
had an anti-Semitic tone that prompted Shternberg 
to refer to the entire case in a letter to Boas as 
"The Dreifuss Affair" (Shternberg to Boas, 1 2 March 
191 1, APS). 

26. Shternberg's presentation at the congress 
actually mentioned that his monograph "The Gilyak 
and Their Neighbors" was "about to appear in the 
publications of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition" 
(Shternberg 1912:319). 

27. In the summer of 1 91 5 Shternberg learned 
about these army activities first-hand when he was 
sent by the Committee for Assisting the Jewish 
Refugees to the front lines to investigate them 
(seeAAN, 282/2/176). 

28. The Kronstadt Mutiny was an uprising by 
the left-leaning, but anti-Bolshevik, sailors at a 
naval base near Petrograd. Although most of the 
former SRs arrested during the unrest had noth- 
ing to do with the rebellion, the government used 
the mutiny as an excuse to isolate and terrorize 
those members of the city's intelligentsia who 
were not sympathetic to the regime. 

29. In fall 1921, when communication be- 
tween Boas and his Russian colleagues was re- 
stored, Jochelson began his efforts to leave Rus- 
sia. Like some of the other Russian intellectuals 
who had chosen a "wait and see" attitude toward 
the Soviet regime, he described his plan not as 
emigration but as an extended "business trip" to 
the United States on behalf of the Academy of 
Sciences, for the purpose of "describing compara- 
tively some of the anthropological and ethno- 
graphical specimens of the American Museum of 
Natural History collected by . . . Jesup North Pa- 
cific Expedition" (Jochelson to the U.S. ambassa- 
dor in Berlin, 21 November 1921, APS). On 

Jochelson's request, Boas helped him obtain a visa 
for Germany, which he had to pass through on his 
way to the United States (Jochelson to Boas, 23 
November 1 921 , APS). 

30. In 1 91 7-1 8 Boas managed to publish two 
important works by Bogoras that had been sent 
to him a few years earlier: Koryak Texts (1917) 
and Tales of Yukaghir, Lamut, and Russianized 
Natives of Eastern Siberia (1 91 8). 

31 . Since the United States did not have dip- 
lomatic relations with Russia at that time, there 
was no way for the AMNH to send money to Rus- 
sia. As a solution to the problem, Boas proposed 
to send food packages to Bogoras and 
Shternberg (see Boas to Shternberg, 1 9 July 1 922, 
AAN, 282/2/29, p. 70). In addition to food and 
money. Boas arranged for American institutions, 
such as the Smithsonian Institution, to send schol- 
arly books and periodicals to Shternberg and other 
employees of the Academy of Sciences Gochelson 
to Shternberg, 20 March 1 923, AAN, 282/2/124, 
pp. 37-9a). 

32. Several of Boas' letters to Bogoras, writ- 
ten in the second half of the 1 920s, indicate that 
he himself almost made a trip to Russia (APS). 

33. The same letter indicates that Boas was 
also trying to get Shternberg to write a summary 
entry on the Gilyak language for some sort of a 
volume on Eastern Siberian languages, which Boas 
was going to edit. Unlike Shternberg's work on 
the Gilyak manuscript, this essay was to be pro- 
vided free of charge (APS). 

34. To Shternberg's disappointment, after 
Radloff's death he could not be appointed direc- 
tor of the MAE because the position had always 
been occupied by a member of the Academy of 
Sciences (Reshetov 1995, 1996). Shternberg was 
finally made a corresponding member of the Acad- 
emy of Sciences in 1924, but he was either too 
busy or too unpopular with some of the MAE's 
staff members to be made director. 

35. Shternberg's 1908 monograph does not 
contain any of the material on Gilyak folklore that 
he had collected himself or had received from 
Pilsudskii, his friend and fellow ethnographer of 
the Sakhalin Natives (Latyshev 1996). These valu- 
able data are still in his archive and have only 
recently begun to be published and used by schol- 
ars (Ostrovskii 1 997). 



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History of Anthropology. George W. Stocking, 
Jr., ed. Pp. 92-1 1 3. Madison: University of Wis- 
consin Press. 
Stocking, George W., Jr., ed. 

1974 The Shaping of American Anthropology, 1883- 
191 1 : A Franz Boas Reader. New York: Basic Books. 

Swanton, John R. 

1905 Contributions to the Ethnology of the Haida. 
The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 5, pt. 1 , pp. 
1 -300. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natu- 
ral History, 8. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New York: C. E. Stechert. 

Taksami, Ch. M. 

1 975 Osnovnye problemy etnografii i istorii Nivkhov 
(The main issues of Nivkh ethnography and history). 
Leningrad: Nauka. 

Tokarev, Sergei A. 

1 966 Istoriia russkoi etnografii [The history of Russian 

ethnography]. Moscow: Nauka. 
Vucinich, Alexander 

1 988 Darwin in Russian Thought. Berkeley and Los 
Angeles: University of California Press. 



62/ Lev Shternberg conducting a census among the Sakhalin Island Nivkh (Cilyak), 
ca.l895(AAN/f. 282/0.1 /d. 162/1.1 18) 

63/ Staff of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (MAE) 
in St. Petersburg, Russia, 1914. Lev Shternberg (first row, fifth from left); MAE 
director Vasily Radloff (first row, sixth from left); Sarra Ratner-Shternberg (first 
row, third from left); Waldemar Jochelson (first raw, first from right). Reprinted 
from Staniukovich 1 978:1 37. 


64/ Lev Shternberg and Sarra Ratner-Shternberg, ca. 1 9 1 5 
(AAN f. 282/0.1 /d.l 94/1.1 2) 


65/ Portrait of Lev Shternberg taken just prior to his departure for the 1 924 International 
Congress of Americanists (AAN f. 282/o.l/d. 194/1.22) 


[Mnmlier e«cb reco(4 in o(4«r oMd aad write yaw atMiv fficr BVMbar^ 

No. "30^ 

I. Place of observation. M ^"ipw 

a. Date of dteervation. -i\A,„,A-^ ^ 

3. Name pf {dividual recorded. 

4. Age Eati ia a t ed. rr 

6. Place ^tnrth. 

7. Tribe of father. 

8. TrSbe erf mother. 

9. Fatha- of No. 3 f ^ 
Brother of No. 

10. Mode of life. 

11. Beard; cokM". 






Beard oo upper {Mut of cheeks : full, medium, 
scaotjr; short, long, none. 

Beard on lower part of cheeks : full, medium. 
^ scanty; short, long. none. 

Beard on chin; full, medium, scanty; 
short, long, waxt. 

Mustache; full, medium , scan^; 
^ort, long. ncme. 

Hair: black , brown, light brown, blonde, 
golden, red, gray;. 

Hair : straight, wavy, curly, frizzly. 

Eyes : bU»:k. dark brown, light brown, gray, 

Wue. ^TVw.^ ,.-.^-f^^^ 
Eyes: i. 2. 3. 4, 5. 

Nose : form of line drawn between eyes : 
high, medium, low. 

Outline of union of forehead and nose : i. 2. 
3- 4- 

20. Profile <rf nose : i. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 9. 
9. 10. II. 12. 13. 14. 

Point of nose : shwt, lot^ thm. thick. 

N<»trils: i. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 

Upper lip: projecting, siij^tly inclined for- 
ward, vertical. 

Nose and lip paraUel. omverging upward, 
converging downward. 

Lips : thin, medium , thick. 

Ear: round, point«l. 
Standing off, close to head. 

First section xA helix: rolled inward, flat, 
rolled back; thick, thm. 

Second section of helix: rolled inward, flair 
rolled back; thick, thin. 

Aniihelix : flat, high; wide, narrow^ 

Crura : ridges flat. high. 

Lobe: large, small; i nched . defac6ed;> 
round, triang^ar, square, divided: 

Color (A skin : covered parts 

oncovered parts^ 
|Alns of hands^ 






66/ Front side of the NPE North American anthropometric data sheet, filled in by Boas, 1 897 (AMNH) 


^ 1 

1 1 


I 1 I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 

[Repeat nnaber from oilier aide.] 

No, ^ ? 

1 ,/, 




Height standing. /L ^ /~ 

7- Length of head. / ^ V 


Height of shoulder. / S >r 3 

8. Breadt)] qt head. f 


Height of point of second finger. 

o 9. Height of face, f ^ 


Fingerreach. / ^ ^ 

lo. &«adth (tf face, f *^ 


Height sitting. 

\\. Height of nose. 'JT-j 


Width of shoulders. S 1 3 

12. Bre»ithcrf nose. ^ ft 


[No aiiention to be paid to lines bdow this role.] 




I. Length — breadth. 



2. Length — height. 


Height sitting. 

3. Face. 


Width of shoulders. 

4. Nose. 

[Hiw recnn) when filled to be returned to Fbanz BnAf, Worcester, Mau.] 

67/ Back side of the NPE North American anthropometric data sheet, filled in by Boas, 1 897 (AMNH) 


2. Date of observation. y/J~ 

3. Name of individual recorded, 

[Number each record in order oaed, and write your name after number.] 


I. Place of observation. ^'^ I— c<_-«--< 

4. Age Estimated. 

5. Tribe. ^ 

6. Place of birth. Kyf/C-tZ^^ .S£.^?^-0<^ 

7. Tribe of father. ^-dry-t^^ Ort-yy/ k!L.<nrct^*». 

8. Tribe of mother. 

9. Father of No. 
Son of No. 
Brother of No. 

10. Mode of Life. C^^t-sz-e-'/^^-/ 

11. Beard; color. 

12. Beard on upper part of cheeks : full, medium, 

scanty ; short, long, none. 

Beard on lower part of cheeks : full, medium, 
scanty ; short, long, none. 

Beard on chin : full, medium, scanty ; 
Short, long, none. 

13. Mustache : full, medium, scanty ; 

short, long, none. 

14. Hair : black , brown, light brown, blonde, golden, 

red, gray. 

15. Hair: straight, wavy, curly, frizzly. 

16. Eyes : black, dark brown, light brown, gray, 


17. Color of Skin: covered parts. (Lc^-^M^ -^-Tt^-*^ 

uncovered parts, /^- j/^^t-*-'^ 
palms of hands, /tve^ 

American Museum of Naturai. Hisxoky. 

68/ Front side of the JNPE Siberian anthropometric data sheet, filled in by Jochelson, 1901 (AMNH) 


No. W i 

lR«pe«t Domber from otiisr Bide.] 


1. H^ibt standing. / Ca ^ * 

2. Height of shoulder. / 3 ^ / ^ 

3. He^t of point of secmid finger, s/ Co 

4. Finger-reach. / , ^ 

5. Height sitting. ^ , / 

6. Width 0* shoulders. 2^ / , V 

7. Breadth of r^bt band. <^ , Q 

8. Les^tb of second finger. 

9. Lei^h of forearm. J to / *— 
10. Length of foot. , 3 

ri. Length of head. ^ ^ ' 

12. Breadth of head. ^ ^ t ^ 

13- Breadth of face. / yj^*"^ 

14. Height of ear. /^J~d 

IS- Height of face. 

I . — Hair-line — chin. 

16. Height of face. / / 

II. — Nasion — chin. i. 

2 JJ'^ 

17. Height of nose. i. ^ /■ 

2- 6.9' 

18. Breadth of nose. ^ ^ J 

19. Length of right ear. Ca ' ^ 

20. Distance between inner comers of eyes. >^ • ^ 

21. Distance between outer comers of eyes. ^ 

22. Vertical circumference. -^S ^ , \/ 

23. Horizontal circumference. 

24. Sagittal circumference. 

,. Am. l^j^ 

2. Finger-reach, IQ^ ^'Z 

3. Height sitting.^ 

4. Width of shoulders, 2f ^. ZV 

(^.4! , I6.H- 


I. Length— breadth. X ' ^ 

3. Nose. f^y, 1 1 

69/ Back side of theJNPE Siberian anthropometric data sheet, filled in byjochelson, 1901 



^OO Year Old Questions, i OO Y^ar Qld 
]3)ata, ^rand f\Jew (Computers 


In the early 1 890s, the prominent anthropologist Daniel 
Garrison Brinton forcefully and repeatedly claimed that 
American Indian culture and morphology arose in the 
New World after a migration over a land bridge from 
Europe (Brinton 1890:38^1, 1891:17-32; 1894). He 
further stated, "it is time to dismiss as trivial all attempts 
to connect the American race genealogically with any 
other, or to trace the typical culture of this continent 
to the historic forms of the Old World" (Brinton 1 890: 1 8). 

In many ways, the entire Jesup North Pacific Expe- 
dition ONPE) could be thought of as a direct challenge 
to Brinton's ideas. Franz Boas' overarching goal for the 
JNPE was to prove the connections across the North 
Pacific and the superiority of conclusions based on 
fieldwork and induction rather than the "armchair" de- 
ductive approach of Brinton and other contemporary 
scientists (Ousley 2000).' For Boas, "the study of the 
physical types of the coast of the North Pacific Ocean 
must form one of the most important subjects of in- 
vestigation of the Jesup Expedition" (Boas 1 897b:537). 

While collecting ethnographies, linguistic data, and 
items of material culture, members of the Jesup Expe- 
dition gathered skulls from graves and abandoned 
villages, made plaster facial casts, and collected 
anthropometrics (head, face, and body measurements) 
and morphological observations from over 2,000 Si- 
berian and Northwest Coast Natives on data sheets. 
The ease of data collection and the sheer numbers 
made anthropometrics the best biological data avail- 
able to Boas for assessing population relationships. 

and by extension, population histories. He recognized 
that JNPE data could add to the large database of 
North American Indian measurements already collected 
under his direction (Boas 1 903). 

Boas acknowledged that biological data might not 
lead to the same conclusion regarding the relation- 
ships between these groups as data from ethnology 
and language (Boas 1 899b). Nevertheless, he maintained 
that anthropometric results supported his conclusions 
from the extensive ethnographic data collected, which 
suggested that people from North America had re- 
crossed the land bridge to Siberia (Ousley 2000). This 
theory for the peopling of the North Pacific and the 
New World through migrations not only eastward from 
Siberia but also westward from America became 
known as the "Americanoid" theory. 

The anthropometric data from the JNPE and from 
many other American Indian groups were recently 
rediscovered at the American Museum of Natural 
History (AMNH) in New York. These have been inven- 
toried and computerized and now constitute the most 
comprehensive database of American Indian and 
Siberian biological information available Cantz 1995; 
Jantz et al. 1 992). A modern statistical analysis of the 
anthropometric data refutes the biological basis of the 
Americanoid theory. 

Franz Boas and Anthropometrics 

Boas valued anthropometrics highly, having overseen 
large-scale collection of anthropometric data for the 

British Association for the Advancement of Science 
(BAAS) and for the World's Columbian Exposition (Boas 
1891a, 1895b, 1899c). Whereas museums housed 
skulls that could be measured at any time, anthropo- 
metrics salvaged information from rapidly disappear- 
ing peoples (Boas 1891a). While at the AMNH, Boas 
also oversaw the collection of anthropometric data in 
Labrador, Ontario, Colombia, and nine U.S. states. 

Boas was ahead of his time in believing that mea- 
surements were superior to descriptions of physical 
types. The differences between peoples could be as- 
sessed much more reliably if the data were recorded 
"in exact terms," using numbers rather than subjective 
categories such as describing the breadth of a person's 
nose as narrow, medium, or wide (Boas 1894a:313, 
1 896). Boas believed that groups living close to each 
other were often too similar to be compared using 
only observational data. Most contemporary anthro- 
pologists of the day, such as Brinton, believed that the 
cephalic index (head breadth divided by head length) 
was the only numerical information necessary for pars- 
ing humanity into races and types (Brinton 1 890). 

For Boas, merely using a few measurements or one 
index was not enough. More measurements ensured 
more reliable classification (Boas 1 899a). A moderate 
number of measurements from many members of a 
population was more valuable than many measure- 
ments from a few "representative" members of a popu- 
lation (Boas 1894a, 1895b, 1899b, 1912a). Boas was 
also one of the first to see the potential of measure- 
ments in studies of human growth and to apply corre- 
lations and other statistics to human biological data 
(Boas 1892, 1894b, 1895a, 1896, 1897a;Jantz 1995). 

By the beginning of the JNPE, however. Boas reached 
a turning point in his career as a physical anthropolo- 
gist. He briefly adhered to the contemporary physical- 
anthropological principle that human "types" — also 
called characteristic phenotypes, varieties of mankind, 
or races — were mostly fixed. Admixture between two 
different human types (as defined by different means 
for craniometric or anthropometric measurements) was 

2 58 

thought to consistently produce intermediate values; 
thus, virtually all subpopulations were explained as 
mixtures of larger populations or races. Metric infor- 
mation, continuous in nature, was to be used to parcel 
populations more objectively into discrete categories 
or types (Boas 1 899b) 

In one of Boas' earliest analyses of anthropometric 
measurements from the Northwest Coast tribes (and 
his last using measurement means alone), he remarked 
on the great number of types (Boas 1 891a). Just two 
months later, in a review of the work of another an- 
thropologist, he published a very different view of the 
anthropometric results of interactions between popu- 
lations, based on his own data (Boas 1891b). "Mixed" 
populations did not show "blending" effects but, in- 
stead, tended to show a bimodal distribution of some 
variables, reflecting elements of both parental types. 
Boas argued that mixed individuals may show a mea- 
surement near the mean of one parent population and 
another measurement near the mean of the other par- 
ent population. Vastly different types could be found 
within one family. These results were discernible only 
when one analyzed the distribution of values in a mixed 
population rather than just the mean values. 

In 1895 Boas analyzed massive amounts of data 
from over 60 North American tribes and summarized 
data on stature, head length, and head breadth using 
plots of over 80 measurement distributions. By now, 
his sample sizes had increased enough for a more thor- 
ough investigation of the mixing of types. For face 
breadth. Boas found evidence for a bimodal distribu- 
tion in white-admixed individuals — now referred to as 
a major gene effect in quantitative genetics and re- 
cently confirmed by population studies in Nepal (Will- 
iams-Blangero and Blangero 1989). Boas also found 
that the effect did not hold true for all variables; some 
showed apparent blending or other unpredictable 
phenomena (Boas 1893, 1895b). 

Thus, by 1895 Boas had rejected the assumptions 
underlying the use of anthropometric data for estimat- 
ing population relationships. Anthropometrics would 


still be the focus of his scientific investigations, but 
more for empirically testing physical anthropology's 
assumptions than for inductive investigations of popu- 
lation relationships (Stocking 1 968). He continued to 
collect and publish descriptive summaries of North- 
west Coast anthropometric data until 1 899, as part of 
his obligation to the BAAS. In an obituary he wrote on 
his early mentor Rudolf Virchow, Boas revealed his fu- 
ture course, based on his training as a scientist and his 
reliance on 

the general scientific principle that it is 
dangerous to classify data that are imper- 
fectly known under the point of view of 
general theories, and that the sound progress 
of science requires us to be clear at every 
moment, what elements in the system of 
science are hypothetical and what are the 
limits of that knowledge which is obtained 
by exact observation. (Boas 1902a:443) 

Nearly all of Boas' later work in physical anthropol- 
ogy consisted of empirical tests of the effects of 
admixture and the environment on anthropometrics 
using data from families. Boas' interests moved from 
classification and description to the dynamic causes 
of human variation (Herskovits 1 943) and from studies 
of variation among populations to studies of variation 
within subpopulations, groups, or families (Howells 
1 959). Boas collected family-based samples from West 
Indian Natives, Spaniards, and Mestizos in Puerto Rico 
to investigate empirically the effects of mixing popu- 
lations (Boas 1 920). His analyses of data collected from 
European immigrants to the New World led him to the 
widely contested conclusion that environmental fac- 
tors could greatly affect supposedly stable types (Boas 
1912a, 1916; Stocking 1968). Boas discovered that 
the American-born children of recent immigrants 
showed changes in several head and face measure- 
ments and that the longer the children had been in the 
United States, the greater the effect. In other words, 
Boas had very strong evidence that human races did 
not have definite and unchanging traits. This finding 
called into question the very definitions of biological 
races and their relationships to each other: A person's 

measurements and type could be the result of differ- 
ent environmental and biological factors (Boas 1912a, 
1913, 1916). Although Boas had clear evidence that 
anthropometrics did not always reflect the genetic his- 
tory of populations, as other anthropologists had as- 
sumed, he still believed in the value of anthropometrics: 

It seems to me . . . that our investigations, 
like many other previous ones, have merely 
demonstrated that results of great value can 
be obtained by anthropometrical studies, 
and that the anthropometric method is a 
most important means of elucidating the 
early history of mankind and the effect of 
social and geographical environment upon 
man. . . . Every result obtained by the use of 
anthropometric methods should strengthen 
our confidence in the possibility of putting 
them to good use for the advancement of 
anthropological science. (Boas 1912a:562) 

Boas also recognized how high correlations (the 
close relationship of measurements to each other) can 
confound attempts to distinguish real differences be- 
tween peoples. For example, taller people generally 
tend to have wider shoulders and larger heads. In 
univariate (one variable at a time) analyses, these cor- 
relations would not be obvious, and a comparison of 
mean values between two populations would make 
the differences appear far greater merely because of 
size differences. (In multivariate analyses, unavailable 
in Boas' time, all variables are analyzed simultaneously, 
and correlations are taken into account, allowing the 
researcher to investigate differences in both size and 
shape.) Boas did have hope for future analyses, how- 
ever. After briefly reviewing these problems and allud- 
ing to a need for more comprehensive statistical pro- 
cedures, he went so far as to write: 

I have tried to point out in these remarks a 
few directions in which it would seem that 
our anthropometrical material may be made 
more useful and significant than it is at the 
present time. ... I am fully aware of the 
difficulties and of the vast amount of labor 
involved in carrying out any of the sugges- 
tions here outlined, but I fully believe that 
any labor devoted to this matter will be 
repaid by results interesting from a scientif- 
ic point of view . . . and I hope that our 



deliberations may lead to a way of making 
the vast amount of anthropometric work 
that we are doing more useful in scientific 
and practical lines. (Boas ) 902b: 180) 

If the multivariate statistical procedures and electronic 
computers that enable quantitative genetic analyses 
had been available during Boas' lifetime, he might have 
returned to assess American Indian population rela- 
tionships using anthropometrics.^ Only very recently, 
however, have the quantitative genetics of anthropo- 
metrics been revalidated, justifying Boas' initial faith in 
anthropometric data. Using 12 anthropometric mea- 
surements from Boas' data for American Indian fami- 
lies, Konigsberg and Ousley (1995) showed that the 
phenotypic distances among family members are pro- 
portional to their genetic distances. By extension, an- 
thropometric data can be expected to reflect larger- 
scale genetic relationships among populations, mini- 
mally in the same general environment. 

Description of Materials 

When Boas resigned from the AMNH in 1 905 to teach 
at Columbia University, he took the American Indian 
anthropometric data sheets with him. They were kept 
in his office until 1 942, when, shortly before his death, 
he wrote to Harry Shapiro at the AMNH and asked him 
to take them (Boas to Shapiro, 16 September 1942, 
AMNH-DA). Thereafter, these data sheets remained un- 
touched at the AMNH for over 40 years. The neglect 
of the anthropometric data was lamented by Stewart 
(1973), alerting one of us Qantz) to their existence. A 
letterof inquiry to David Thomas, then chairman of the 
Department of Anthropology at the AMNH, revealed 
that not only were the JNPE anthropometric sheets there, 
but so too were nearly all of the other anthropometric 
data collected for Boas between 1 890 and 1911. These 
records were loaned to the University of Tennessee in 
1 984. All data from the sheets except the nonmetric 

71/ Location of the Croups Measured during the Jesup Expedition, 1897-1902. 

The JNPE groups in the analysis are (1 ) Bella Coola; (2) Carrier; (3) Chilcotin; (4) Chuvan; (5) Maritime Chukchi; (6) 
Reindeer Chukchi; (7) Siberian Eskimo; (8) Even; (9) Evenk; (1 0) Haida; (11) Koryak; (1 2) Reindeer Koryak; (1 3) 
KwakiutI; (14) Lillooet; (1 5) Makah; (1 6) Okanagan; (1 7) Quileute; (1 8) Tahltan; (1 9) Tenino; (20) Thompson; (2 1 ) 
Tsimshian; (22) Yukagir. Croups measured at other times are (23) Nivkh; (24) Aleut; (25) MacKenzie Delta 
Eskimo. Not shown: Labrador Eskimo. 



Table 1 

Anthropometric Measurements in the Boas Database 

Body measurements 

Head measurements 

Standing height 

Head length (maximum) 

Shoulder height (acromial height) 

Head breadth (maximum) 

Sitting height 

Face breadth (bizygomatic breadth) 

Finger reach (span of arms) 

Nose height (nasion-base of nose) 

Finger height (height at end of second finger) 

Nose breadth (maximum) 

Shoulder breadth (biacromial breadth) 

Face height (nasion-menton) 

observations were entered into a computer database 
between 1 987 and 1 990, a task that required roughly 
4,000 man-hours (see Jantz 1 995 for details). 

The anthropometric data sheets, which chronicle 
the field movements of the various JNPE teams, include 
the observer, observation place, and date. The demo- 
graphic information from measured individuals includes 
tribe, age, sex, occupation, birthplace, tribes of the 
mother and father, and number of children; many of 
the children were also measured. Admixture in a sub- 
ject can be quantified thanks to the meticulous re- 
cording of the tribe or admixture of each parent. 
Anthroposcopics were collected, including hair color, 
form, and distribution; presence of beard and/or mus- 
tache; form of eyes, nose, lips, and ears; and skin color 
based on color charts. The anthropometric data sheet 
used by Boas in North America listed demographic 
information and anthroposcopics on the front (fig. 66) 
and anthropometrics on the back (fig. 67). Figures 68 
and 69 show a Siberian sheet, which has fewer obser- 
vational data and more anthropometric measurements 
than the North American sheets. 

Twelve basic measurements, chosen because they 
did not require removal of clothes, were collected from 
over 1 8,000 Amerindians and Siberians between 1 890 
and 1912. Measurements were recorded to the near- 
est millimeter. Six body and six face measurements 
(Table 1) were common to all data sheets and have 
been entered into the database. 

JNPE anthropometric data collection began in late 
May 1897 in southern British Columbia, where Boas 
personally measured 79 percent (458 out of a total of 
582) of the subjects measured in North America. Boas 

focused JNPE North American data collection on the 
southern Northwest Coast to supplement his earlier 
data from those areas. Two other JNPE team members 
collected measurements on the Northwest Coast 
through 1898. Table 2 shows the number of North 
American individuals measured during the JNPE, by sex 
and age group. The locations of all groups measured 
are shown in Figure 71 . 

Table 2 

North American Populations Measured forJNPE 




































1 1 


























































1 73 


Total Amerindians measured forJNPE is 582. 


Table 3 

Native Siberian Populations Measured during the JNPE 






M;iritimp Phiikrhi 


1 5 


M^riin<ik\/ Pn<;t ("hprhpn 

IVICllllMjIxy rWDL, \„MC\_lldl 



Reindeer Chukchi 



Mariinsky Post, Yeropol 





Yeropol, Markovo 



Sihprian Fsl<imn 




Indian Point fMv<; Chanlinn^ Cherhpn 






Yeropol, Markovo, Nelemnoye 



Reindeer Even 




Yeropol, Markovo, Kamenskoye 




Nayakhan, Cizhiga 

r a 



1 Ul lUI <X L-VCI ll\ 


M;^ n i ;i k ht ;^ k h 

IVICII lldlxl ILClixl 1 

k^mrh^H;? 1 





rAi \zo. KJi ixi iciyi yu£-\jv\jj _}tucii iivci, cii i\j 




Mpiritimp Knrvak 

ivicii iLii 1 It yd fx 




Ppn7hinpi R;^\/ Nnrthprn K^mrh^^tka 

Itll^lllllCl Uay ^ iNUILIIdll INCll 1 Itl ICLL l\Cl 



1 4fi 

Pp n i n ^ 1 1 1 ^ 
id III 1 jUid 

Rpindppr Korvak 



KupI Kamen^kove 

1 N w V, 1 , i xcil 1 It 1 u ixw y v_ 






Mariinsky Post, Tigil 



Yakutsk, Verkhne Kolymsk 







Nelemnoye, Omolon, Maniakhtakh 






Note: Total number of JNPE Siberians measured: 1 ,61 4. 

a. Includes 30 Evenk females published in Jochelson-Brodsky 1906. 

b. Includes 65 Yakut females published in Jochelson-Brodsky 1906. 

On the Siberian side of the North Pacific, Berthold 
Laufer began work in 1 898 along the Amur River and 
on Sakhalin Island and continued through 1 899. Data 
collection among more northerly Siberian groups be- 
gan in the late summer of 1 900, with Waldemar Bogoras 
leading one team and Waldemar Jochelson another. 
JNPE members in Siberia reported collecting data from 
almost 1 ,900 subjects (Boas 1 903), and we have re- 
covered data sheets from 1,614. About 150 records 
seem to be missing from the Jochelson and Bogoras 
teams, but there are large samples for most groups. 
Alexander Axelrod apparently collected the bulk of 
anthropometric data in Siberia, measuring over 1 ,1 50 
people while traveling with Jochelson's and Bogoras' 

teams. Table 3 shows the Siberian groups measured 
and the most common locations. Most of the Koryak 
are from the region surrounding Penzhina Bay, but there 
are also 46 from Palana and Karaga — villages on the 
northern Kamchatka Peninsula. Data from 65 Yakut 
[Sakha] and 30 Evenk females published by Jochelson- 
Brodsky (1906) were not recovered from the AMNH 
but have been added to the database and are noted 
in Table 3. 

The location of Laufer's data sheets — if he actually 
did measure any Siberians — remains a mystery. They 
are not among his papers at the AMNH or the Field 
Museum. In the 1 903 summary of the JNPE, Boas quoted 
from a March 4, 1 899, letter from Laufer in which Laufer 


said that the Ainu refused to be measured, in contrast 
to Laufer's letter of September 1 8, 1 898, in which he 
claimed to have measured over 1 00 individuals. Laufer's 
(1 902) Jesup volume concerned only interpretations of 
Amur River people's art, and there is no later mention 
of his data in Boas' letters. In a July 1 , 1 906, letter to 
Boas, however, Laufer wrote of his forthcoming book 
on the Amur River peoples and informed Boas that it 
would contain sections on physical anthropology, lin- 
guistics, and ethnography. This manuscript was ap- 
parently never completed or published and has not 
been found in Boas' or Laufer's papers (see Krupnik, 
this volume). We believe that Laufer did not measure a 
significant number of subjects, if any, and that his let- 
ter of September 1 8 was referring to Natives he in- 
tended to measure but did not.^ 

Boas' team also collected skulls and made facial 
casts, but the sample size is very small. Bogoras re- 
ported that he collected 75 skulls, and at least 55 are 
in the AMNH, although many of them are incomplete 
(Boas 1 903). The North American teams also collected 
many skulls, which are especially valuable in combina- 
tion with data from skulls at other museums. Bogoras 
made 33 plaster facial casts and Jochelson made 41, 
according to their reports (Boas 1 903). At least 42 
casts from Siberia are in the AMNH (Jaymie Brauer, 
AMNH, personal communication). Unfortunately, the 
facial casts from Siberia were not cross-referenced to 
the anthropometric sheets but merely to ethnic group. 
Apparently, the North American teams also made fa- 
cial casts; at least 20 anthropometric data sheets from 
North America make reference to cast numbers. 

Despite some limitations, the anthropometric data 
sheets have the greatest potential of all the JNPE bio- 
logical information collected because they include a 
sufficient number of standardized measurements, de- 
mographic data, and measurement locations and be- 
cause of the large number of individuals measured. 

The "Americanoid" Theory 

The JNPE anthropometrics clearly provided Boas with 


enough biological data to assess relationships in the 
North Pacific area. At the conclusion of the JNPE, Boas 
stated strongly in several publications that there was 
overwhelming evidence for strong biological ties across 
the North Pacific: 

It seems clear, however, even at this time, 
that the isolated tribes of eastern Siberia and 
those of the northwest coast of America 
form one race, similar in type, and with many 
elements of culture in common. (Boas 
1903:1 1 5) 


Comparisons of type, language and culture 
make it at once evident that the Northeast 
Siberian people are much more closely akin 
to the Americans than to other Asiatics. 
(Boas 1905:99) 

According to Boas, the "Americanoids" of Siberia and 
America were also different from the Eskimo, who had 
migrated from their original home in central Canada 
(Boas 1910:534-35). 

Boas' work in British Columbia before the Jesup 
Expedition had given him first-hand experience of the 
great morphological and linguistic variation in 
Amerindians, which undoubtedly influenced his theory 
of the peopling of the New World. But even before 
that time. Boas' view of Northwest Coast Indians was 
probably influenced by an encounter with a group of 
Bella Coola [Nuxalk] who were "exhibited" at the Mu- 
seum fur Volkerkunde in Berlin and measured by 
Virchow. The general public, as well as Virchow, be- 
lieved that the Bella Coola resembled Asians, espe- 
cially Japanese, more than "typical" Indians (Cole 
1985:71-2; Herskovits 1943). In fact, two years be- 
fore the Siberian data were collected, Boas concluded: 

The types of man which we find on the North 
Pacific coast of America, while distinctly 
American, show a great affinity to North 
Asiatic forms; and the question arises, 
whether this affinity is due to mixture, to 
migration, or to gradual differentiation. (Boas 

Coincidentally, Jochelson also "became convinced that 
there were cultural and somatological connections 


between the Palae-asiatics and the Indians of North 
America" Oochelson 1925:2). Boas and Jochelson had 
therefore come to the same conclusion, probably from 
general impressions, before encountering peoples or 
collecting data from the other continent. 

Later, the JNPE data suggested to Boas that there 
were close cultural and physical relationships across 
the North Pacific. Boas felt that the greater variability in 
America meant that the peoples of the New World 
had to have been there longer (Boas 1 898, 1 903). This 
pattern was confirmed by Torroni et al. (1993), who 
found greater diversity in the mitochondrial DNA of 
American Indian tribes than in Eastern Siberian groups, 
and by Ousley (1993, 1995), who found greater an- 
thropometric variation in Northwest Coast Indians than 
in Siberians measured during the JNPE. But Boas also 
had to account for the culturally and morphologically 
distinct Eskimo, who separated his "Americanoids" on 
each side of the North Pacific. 

Boas' "Americanoid" theory neatly explained all of 
his JNPE findings through a series of population move- 
ments. First, Asians migrated across a land bridge from 
Northeast Siberia to North America, where they were 
later isolated by glaciers, resulting in the greater diver- 
sification of Amerindians. When the glaciers retreated, 
the land bridge was reopened, and some Americanoids 
migrated back to Northeast Asia, forming an arc of 
related tribes across the North Pacific coasts of both 
continents. The arc was later broken by Eskimo, who 
presumably migrated to the Bering Strait area from 
Hudson Bay, forming a "wedge" that divided the 
Americanoids on each side of the Bering Strait. A merit 
of Boas' theory (outlined in greater detail in Ousley 
2000:13-4) was that it explained why the Northeast 
Siberians were different from typical "Mongoloids" and 
Eskimo yet similar to Northwest Coast Indians in biol- 
ogy and culture (Boas 1905, 1907, 1910, 1912b, 1929). 

The term "Americanoid" actually originated with 
Brinton, who used it in his Essays of an Americanist 
(1890) to ridicule anthropologists who believed that 
American Indians were part of the "Mongoloid" race. 

Brinton believed that if American Indians were consid- 
ered Mongoloids, then Asian Mongoloids should be 
considered a branch of the "Americanoid" race, since 
American Indians are the "purer" race, their hair be- 
ing closer to a perfect circle in cross-section (Brinton 
1890:62). Boas evidently revived the term in 1904 at 
the 14th International Congress of Americanists, held 
in Stuttgart, most likely as a sarcastic allusion to Brinton, 
who had died in 1899 (Ousley 2000:14). 

After the conclusion of the JNPE, Boas had enough 
data to disprove Brinton's repeated assertion that 
American Indian culture was autochthonous to the New 
World, showing no connection to any cultures of the 
Old World (Boas 1903:73; Brinton 1886, 1890, 1891, 
1 894). Boas never presented specific anthropometric 
data that showed similarities between Siberians and 
American Indians, but much later he referred obscurely 
to cranial similarities between the Siberians and Am- 
erican Indians found by Jochelson-Brodsky (Boas 
1929:1 12). This is perhaps not surprising: Boas was 
attempting to use statistics at a time when one had 
to compute them with pencil and paper. A thorough 
analysis required many weeks of calculation that would 
be unappreciated in the typological environment of 
the day, as was the case with Boas' later studies of 
heredity (Herskovits 1 953). Jochelson-Brodsky alludes 
to this obstacle: "In spite of the critical attitude of the 
present days' anthropologists to averages they still 
form the chief base for somatological considerations" 
(Jochelson-Brodsky n.d.:104). Also, by this time. Boas 
was unsure about the use of anthropometrics for as- 
sessing population relationships, but for quite different 
reasons. Thus, Boas used JNPE ethnographic data to 
prove his theory. Waldemar Jochelson did mention spe- 
cific resemblances in 1 926, citing the cephalic index 
and nose, eye, lip, and cheek form, but without a refer- 
ence or data Oochelson 1 926a:93). 

Dina Jochelson-Brodsky's (n.d.) manuscript, an analy- 
sis of JNPE and Aleutian anthropometric data, was 
recently rediscovered among the Jesup Expedition 
materials at the AMNH (Ousley 2000). Her manuscript 



conflicts with Boas' and Jochelson's vague references 
to it. In this unpublished 1 20-page study, she presented 
over 60 tables summarizing the means, standard de- 
viations, and distributions of 25 anthropometric mea- 
surements and 9 indices from Siberian and American 
Indian populations. As in all univariate analyses, some 
groups are more similar in some measurements and 
different in others, and the choice of which measure- 
ments to use is largely subjective. But even her limited 
conclusions, based on standing height and the cepha- 
lic index, clearly show that Boas' "Americanoid" groups 
were not similar to each other and that the Eskimo 
were not outliers, but displayed intermediate values. 
Jochelson-Brodsky avoided an explicit statement that 
these results contradicted Boas' thesis, but it is likely 
that Boas recognized that her analysis undermined the 
biological basis for the Americanoid theory. Jochelson- 
Brodsky's study was never published by Boas as part 
of the Jesup Expedition proceedings. 

Instead, the only JNPE volume dealing with biologi- 
cal data from the expedition was written by Bruno 
Oetteking, and it was published in 1930 as the last 
volume of the JNPE series.'' Despite samples too small 
for reliable results, Oetteking concluded that the North- 
west Coast Amerindians were of the "Mongol" stock 
and were probably mixed with racially "progressive" 
and "superior" early Caucasoids (Oetteking 1 930:376). 
Although Boas had progressive views on race and did 
not believe in racial superiority, he appears to have 
preferred publishing questionable results rather than 
directly contradict his Americanoid theory. 


Boas' Americanoid theory never took hold in physical 
anthropology, but the perception of an Eskimo "wedge" 
has remained (Freed et al. 1988; Szathmary and 
Ossenberg 1978). Debets, a Russian physical anthro- 
pologist, noted that the Koryak and Chukchi were 
described by Soviet scholars, who compared them 
with more typical "Mongoloids" like the Evenk and 
Yakut [Sakha], while the North American Eskimo were 

described by Americans, who were used to compar- 
ing them with American Indians. Thus, for Russians, 
Paleoasiatics (the Chukchi, Chuvan, Koryak, and Yukagir) 
would seem to have more American Indian features 
than other Asians, and to Americans, the Eskimo would 
seem to have more "Mongoloid" features than other 
American Indians (Debets 1951, cited in Levin 1958 
[1 963]). This unfortunate tradition has continued (e.g., 
Laughlin and Harper 1 988; Spuhler 1 979), illustrating a 
persistent need for objective data. One exception was 
Chard (1951, 1954), who recognized that the Ameri- 
canoid theory was based primarily on cultural data 
and concluded, along with Russian physical anthro- 
pologists, that there was no Eskimo "wedge." Chard's 
conclusions, however, were based on comparisons of 
only a few measurements and observations. Until the 
rediscovery of the JNPE anthropometric data, a reliable 
test of Boas' Eskimo wedge and Americanoid theories 
was not possible with the available biological data 
(Szathmary 1979, 1993). 

The debate about the origins of American Indians 
continues, although it now centers on the timing and 
number of migrations from Asia and whether these 
can be delineated (Crawford 1998; Greenberg et al. 
1 986; Merriwetheretal. 1 995; Ousley 1 995; Szathmary 
1993; Szathmary and Ossenberg 1978; Torroni et al. 
1992, 1993). Genetic analyses have illustrated some 
general patterns of ancestral relationships, but many 
questions remain. Traditional blood markers are of lim- 
ited use because data from at least 20 marker loci, the 
minimum number necessary for consistent estimations 
of population relationships, are still scarce for North 
Pacific groups (Szathmary 1993). Other methods for 
further analyzing nuclear DNA show some promise but 
are limited by small sample sizes at present. 

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been extensively 
utilized recently for assessing ancestral population re- 
lationships across the North Pacific. Different mtDNA 
analyses have been used to establish one, two, three, 
four, and more migratory "waves" into the New World. 
Based on mtDNA diversity, these waves are estimated 



to have arrived in the New World between 5,000 and 
40,000 years ago. However, the conclusions of many 
early mtDNA researchers overreached what was sup- 
ported by the sample sizes. With larger sample sizes, 
more mtDNA types and subtypes are being discov- 
ered, and more complicated patterns of population 
composition, interactions, and migrations into the New 
World become evident (IVIerriwether et al. 1 995, 1 996; 
Schurr et al. 1999; Ward et al. 1993). Some groups 
probably migrated to the New World with a great deal 
of mtDNA diversity already present, confounding at- 
tempts to count or date the "waves" of migration. One 
study found tremendous mtDNA diversity within the 
Nuu-chah-nulth [Nootka] that was estimated to have 
taken 60,000 years to produce (Ward et al. 1991). In 
fact, the mtDNA sequence diversity of this one tribe 
had 62 percent of the diversity present in numerous 
sampled groups from Sub-Saharan Africa. On the other 
hand. Northwest Coast groups are known to have 
engaged in raids on distant villages, sometimes hun- 
dreds of miles away, for wife and slave capture (Drucker 
1955; Suttles 1987). The incorporation of mtDNA lin- 
eages from other tribes would increase the mtDNA 
diversity and estimated time depth within a tribe (Ousley 
1 993). In addition, mtDNA sites that show apparent 
great time depth can be the result of higher mutation 
rates for certain sites (Curven 2000). There is also con- 
siderable debate about whether American Indians went 
through a population bottleneck and which American 
Indian mtDNA lineages originated in the Americas as 
opposed to Asia. As has been pointed out, however, 
mtDNA data represent the genetic history of only one 
maternally inherited locus and may not reflect the his- 
tory of populations (Szathmary 1 993). The mtDNA data 
may be better suited for detecting and discriminating 
ancient and recent contributions to genetic variation 
within populations than for assessing overall popula- 
tion relationships. 

The genetic relationships between American Indi- 
ans and Siberians are not well defined, either, with some 
research pointing to Mongolian, Central Siberian, and 

even early European ancestors who may have migrated 
to the New World before the peopling of northeastern 
Siberia (Brown et al. 1 998; Crawford 1 998; Merriwether 
et al. 1 996; Santos et al. 1 999). Investigations of the Y 
chromosome will provide additional data for research- 
ing population origins, but some mtDNA and Y-chro- 
mosome results conflict with each other, perhaps re- 
flecting different migration patterns for each sex (Karafet 
et al. 1997, 1999). 

Because of the lack of comprehensive biological 
data from the North Pacific, many researchers have 
only presented general physical and cultural impres- 
sions, and physical anthropologists have merely cho- 
sen the analysis closest to their own results for sup- 
port (e.g., Harper and Laughlin 1982; Laughlin and 
Harper 1988; see Levin 1958 [1963] for many more 
examples). Recent statistical developments allow more 
informative and objective comparisons among popu- 
lations based on metric data, which enable reconstruc- 
tions of population histories (Konigsberg and Blangero 
1993; Konigsberg and Ousley 1995; Relethford and 
Blangero 1 990; Williams-Blangero et al. 1 992). For ex- 
ample, Relethford and Crawford (1995) analyzed Irish 
anthropometrics collected in the 1 930s and discov- 
ered evidence for Viking invasions and gene flow that 
had occurred over 1 ,000 years earlier. 

The JNPE data therefore offer a unique resource for 
addressing some of these questions. The first analysis 
of all JNPE anthropometric data was carried out only 
recently, almost 100 years after the JNPE (Ousley 
1993) — fortunately, at a time when electronic com- 
puters are available to perform statistical procedures. 
Ousley combined JNPE data with data from many other 
groups measured under Boas and also produced the 
first multivariate analysis of Siberian anthropometric 
data in English. Table 4 shows the mean cranial index 
(CI) values for North Pacific samples, with sexes com- 
bined. The Eskimo CIs are generally low but are close 
to those of many Siberians. A few Northwest Coast 
groups are near Siberian values, but generally they have 
the highest CIs. Very similar CIs are found in Jochelson- 



Table 4 

Cephalic Index (CI) of JNPE Samples' 



Mean CI 

















1 23 



























1 7 












1 6 











Bella Coola 
























Note: See endnote 5 for abbreviations 

Brodsky's work (1 906, n.d.). Clearly, Boas andjochelson 
overstated similarities in the cephalic index and ignored 
the position of Eskimo samples (Ousley 2000). 

Multivariate Analysis of Siberians 
More reliable population comparisons involve all vari- 
ables. Multivariate statistical methods, not practiced 
in Boas' time, enable comparisons between popula- 
tions using all available measurements simultaneously; 
they also express overall similarity between any two 
groups by one number and permit the graphic repre- 
sentation of overall relationships. These overall rela- 
tionships can be used to objectively assess the gen- 
eral impressions of a researcher. For example. Hall and 

MacNair (1 972), in a multivariate analysis of Boas' pub- 
lished Northwest Coast anthropometric data, confirmed 
Boas' impressions of greater similarity of the Thomp- 
son [NIaka'pamux], Lillooet [Stl'atrimx], Chilcotin 
[Tsilhart'in], and Shuswap [Secwepemc] tribes to each 
other than to other groups (Boas 1 899c). Likewise, 
Boas's impression of three biological types of North- 
west Coast Amerindians (Boas 1 899c) was supported 
by an analysis of additional groups (Ousley 1 993). 

A computer capable of running statistical software 
such as SAS (SAS Institute 1 985) that performs canoni- 
cal discriminant analysis (CDA) would have also served 
Boas well. CDA converts the information expressed by 
many quantitative variables into fewer uncorrelated 
variables, called the canonical axis scores, which maxi- 
mize among-group variation and take into account 
the correlations among variables. Relationships among 
groups can be illustrated by plotting the group means 
for two or three canonical axes, with some loss of 

Anthropometric data from Siberian and Aleutian 
males and females between ages 20 and 60 were 
standardized by sex and pooled by ethnic group and 
location. The results of canonical discriminant analysis 
of this sample are shown in Figure 72. Groups that 
score high on the first canonical axis have relatively 
longer legs, shorter arms, larger faces, larger noses, and 
wider heads than those on the left of Figure 72. On the 
second canonical axis, groups in the upper half are 
shorter, with narrower shoulders, longer heads, and nar- 
rower noses than those below. In this case, the two 
axes represent 52 percent of all information from the 
measurements. The relationships among groups using 
all available information are expressed as distances 
from each group to all others and can be illustrated as 
a dendrogram, or "tree" diagram. A dendrogram dis- 
playing all the information from Siberians was con- 
structed via this method (Fig. 73). 

The anthropometric variation among the Siberian 
groups shows very strong geographic patterning, in- 
dependent of language and ethnicity as assessed by 



Jochelson and Bogoras. The 
Chukchi groups and the Sibe- 
rian Eskimo [Yupik] who live 
on the Chukchi Peninsula clus- 
ter at the bottom right of Fig- 
ure 72. All three trade with 
each other and intermarry, 
and Maritime Chukchi and 
Yupik (Siberian Eskimo) often 
live adjacently. According to 
historical accounts, the Mari- 
time Chukchi have been 
slowly assimilating the Sibe- 
rian Eskimo (Menovshchikov 
1 964), a fact well illustrated 
by the anthropometrics. When 
all variation is taken into ac- 
count, using all distances, the 
Maritime Chukchi are slightly 
closertothe Reindeer Chukchi 
than to the Siberian Eskimo, 
as shown in Figure 73. 

The cluster at the bottom 
left of Figure 72 is from the 
Kamchatka Peninsula, which 


















VvrDr\Ui\T i^rurwrvi 















Can 1 (43%) 



72/ Canonical Discriminant Analysis of all JNPE Siberians measured and 27 Aleuts 
and 1 6 "Creoles" (Aleut mixtures) measued by Jochelson-Brodsky on the Ribushinski 
Expedition. Abbreviations are: EskSib, Siberian Eskimo; Even-NE, Even from 
Yeropol, Markovo; Evenk-NE, Evenk from Kamenskoye, Markovo; Even-NW, 
Even from the lower Kolyma River and Nelemnoye; Evenk-NW, Evenk from the 
lower Kolyma and Nelemnoye; Evenk-SW, Evenk from Nayakhan and Gizhiga; 
KamKory, Koryak from Kamchatka (Palana and Sedanka); MariChuk, Maritime 
Chukchi; NPBKory, Koryak from northern Penzhina Bay (Kamenskoye and 
Talovka); ReinChuk, Reindeer Chukchi; ReinKory, Reindeer Koryak; WPBKory, 
Koryak from the west coast of Penzhina Bay (Kuel, Itkana, Paren River). 

is also separated from other 

Siberians in Figure 73. The Kamchatka cluster includes 
the Koryak from Kamchatka (Palantsy and Karagintsy), 
the Kamchadal [Itelmen] who are mixed with Russians, 
and the Kamchatkan Russians. This cluster reflects docu- 
mented gene flow between all three. In the 1 8th cen- 
tury, the Kamchadal were distributed more northward, 
overlapping with the Koryak (Antropova 1 964). At the 
time of the JNPE, the Kamchadal and Koryak of the 
Kamchatka Peninsula had been intermarrying with the 
Russians for nearly 200 years (Jochelson 1 908). Nearly 
all Kamchatkan natives measured had Russian names. 
The Koryak from other areas are very different from the 
Kamchatka Koryak, clustering in the upper right of Fig- 
ure 72. The Aleut and the "Creoles" (Aleut mixed with 
Europeans, especially Russians) plot near the Kamchatka 

cluster, but Figure 73 confirms that they, along with 
the Nivkh, are very different from other Siberians. 

The groups measured in the northwestern area of 
the JNPE in Siberia similarly cluster with each other in 
the top left of Figure 72, along with the Evenk mea- 
sured in the Nayakhan and Korkodon River area. This is 
probably the result of gene flow between all groups. 
The Even, believed to stem from the relatively recent 
assimilation of Yukagir, Koryak, and other elements by 
northeastern Evenk (Arutiunov 1988a), can be sepa- 
rated into eastern and western subdivisions, each show- 
ing affinity to the groups geographically near them. 
The Even of the northwest area cluster with the Yukagir, 
Yakut [Sakha], and Evenk in the same area, while the 
Even of the Markovo area are similar to the Chuvantsy 


[Chuvan], Koryak, and Evenk in that area. The two divi- 
sions of the Even are also widely separated in the den- 
drogram (Fig. 73). 

The cluster at the top right of Figure 72 represents 
groups from the Yeropol-Markovo area, as well as all 
Koryak from the vicinity of Penzhina Bay. The Koryak 
north of Kamchatka show greater biological cohesive- 
ness than other Siberians. This probably represents a 
larger range of movement and interaction among 
Koryak groups north of Kamchatka. As shown in Fig- 
ure 73, the Penzhina Bay Koryak are most similar to the 
northern Koryak, followed by the Reindeer Koryak. The 
Chuvantsy [Chuvan] were described as a Yukagir-speak- 
ing tribe (Bogoras 1 904-09), but Jochelson remarked 
that the Chuvantsy in Siberia were either Russianized 
or were influenced by the Koryak or Chukchi (Jochelson 
1926b). At the time of the JNPE, the Chuvantsy were 
surrounded by Reindeer Chukchi to the north and Re- 
indeer Koryak to the south. The documented ethno- 
graphic relationships of the Chuvantsy are reflected 
anthropometrically, for the Chuvantsy are most similar 
to the northeastern Even, Evenk, and Koryak groups. 

The Siberian anthropometric relationships largely 
reflect a recurrent pattern seen in Siberia and other 
parts of the world: groups located close to each other 

exchange genes, whether the admixture results from 
trade, warfare, or migration (Arutiunov 1 988a; Bogoras 
1904-09; Dikov 1965; Dolgikh 1965; Harding and 
Sokal 1988; Jochelson 1908; Moss 1992; Townsend 
1979). Linguistic barriers are rarely genetic barriers. 
Geographic barriers are often more formidable, but the 
strong geographic patterning of the Siberian anthro- 
pometric data may also be a product of strong envi- 
ronmental influences. Northern populations, however, 
have come up with clever cultural adaptations to a 
severe environment, and gene flow likely affects 
groups far more than does natural selection in the 
relatively short term, barring mass extinction. Indeed, 
all types of biological data (anthropometrics, der- 
matoglyphics, blood markers, mtDNA, Y chromosome, 
etc.) should be subjected to Boasian skepticism, and 
the strengths and weaknesses of each should be ac- 
knowledged. This, however, is rarely done. For example, 
in a recent test of assumptions, Ousley (1997) found 
that unlike the case with anthropometrics, the pheno- 
typic distances among family members using der- 
matoglyphic ridge counts are not proportional to the 
genetic distances, meaning that population relation- 
ships estimated directly from dermatoglyphic ridge 
counts will be inaccurate. 
























73/ Dendrogram of Siberian and Aleut Samples. For abbreviations, see Fig. 72. 



Multivariate Analysis of North Pacific Croups 
Figure 74 is a canonical plot of relationships among 
North Pacific groups for which Boas had data. The re- 
sults are similar to those from other studies with more 
groups (Ousley 1993, 1995). Most groups in the left 
half of Figure 74 are Siberians, with the exception of 
the Eskimo samples. The upper-left quadrant of the 
figure shows a clustering of northeasternmost Siberian 
groups— the Koryak, Chukchi, and Siberian Eskimo— 
as well as Eskimo from Labrador and the MacKenzie 
River Delta in northern Canada. The bottom-left quad- 
rant contains the other Siberian groups. American Indi- 
ans and the Aleut are on the right, as are the Nivkh. 
This separation of Old and New World populations is 
also shown in Figure 75, a dendrogram that uses the 
same population samples as in Figure 74. Most North- 
west Coast Amerindians are clustered in the upper half 
of Figure 74, while the KwakiutI, Aleut, and Bella Coola 
are nearer the bottom. The groups are also separated 
in Figure 75, in which the Tahltan are close to the 
KwakiutI, Aleut, and Bella Coola. The division of coastal 
North Pacific groups into these clusters is supported, 
as well, when other statisti- 
cal methods and groups are 
used (Boas 1 899c; Ousley 
1993, 1995). 

These results call Boas' 
theories into question, given 
the absence of American- 
oids and the close anthro- 
pometric relationship of the 
Eskimo to other North Pa- 
cific populations. Only the 
Nivkh sample, which Boas 
apparently never analyzed, 
shows great affinity to 
Northwest Coast Amer- 
indians. Both North Ameri- 
can Eskimo groups show 
unquestionable Siberian af- 
finities; in particular, the 

Labrador Eskimo sample is most similar to the Mari- 
time Koryak. Thus, there is no Eskimo "wedge." The 
anthropometric affinities of the Eskimo samples sug- 
gest an Asian origin, as have more recent archaeologi- 
cal and ethnographic studies (summarized in Ousley 
1995), rather than one in central Canada, as Boas had 
supposed. Another analysis (Yokota et al. n.d.), using 
several sets of biological data, finds that most of the 
Siberian groups from the JNPE are more similar to the 
Eskimo than to other Asian populations, including the 
Chinese. On the whole, the data are in agreement with 
Chard's (1960) suggestion that Eskimo populations, 
which at one time stretched from Kamchatka to the 
Bering Strait or beyond, may have been the carriers of 
Asiatic cultural elements into the New World. 

Not all of Boas's impressions were incorrect. Ousley 
(1 993), in a larger-scale analysis, found that Northwest 
Coast tribes are more similar to Siberians than are other 
Amerindian tribes. The Eskimo show unquestionable 
Asian affinities, while the Aleut show strong New World 
affinities, reflecting ethnohistorical data rather than 
linguistic relationships. This illustrates Boas' (1911) 





-0 5 



















A ▲ 



A A 












quileute a 










-2 5 

Can 1 (42%) 


74/ North Pacific Canonical Plot. Except for Evenk-SW, the Even and Evenk 
samples were pooled according to region (Eve-NW, Eve-NE). For other abbre- 
viations, see Fig. 72 






Bella Coola 




























75/ Dendrogram of North Pacific Populations. For abbreviations, see Figs. 74 and 72. 

assertion that anthropological results based on biol- 
ogy, culture, and language need not agree. Boas' 
(1 91 2a, 1916) results from immigrants indicating mor- 
phological changes in head shape after migration to 
the New World may temper the results of inter- 
continental population comparisons. The extent of 
morphological changes after migration and their 
effect on estimated population relationships are 
uncertain. A reanalysis of Boas' immigrant data, how- 
ever, indicates that age-related variability is a much 
more significant influence on the morphological 
changes that Boas observed than is the environment 
(Corey Sparks, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, per- 
sonal communication). 

In addition, anthropometric data, like other biologi- 
cal data gathered from modern individuals, may re- 
flect historically recent rather than ancient population 
events. There are major drawbacks in examining mod- 
ern populations to ascertain what happened 5,000- 
1 5,000 years ago. Modern native populations are the 

result not only of ancient migrations but also of subse- 
quent and continuous gene drift, gene flow, founder 
effects, ethnogenesis, in- and out-migrations, warfare, 
epidemics, extinctions, admixture, assimilation, and 
perhaps natural selection. The addition of ancient DNA 
analyses may help in providing data at various points 
in time, but technical challenges, limited samples, high 
costs, and repatriation concerns remain formidable. 

There are many ways of utilizing the JNPE anthro- 
pometric data, some of which do not involve estimat- 
ing ancestral population relationships. Of course, the 
similarities among groups from opposite sides of the 
North Pacific can be explored in greater detail, and the 
spatial patterning seen in Siberia can be investigated 
further using more sophisticated methods and addi- 
tional measurements collected only in Siberia. The stat- 
ure of Siberian adults and the growth of Siberian chil- 
dren at the time of the JNPE can be compared with 
these data for modern Siberians. Furthermore, morpho- 
logical changes among Siberian adults since the JNPE 


2 7 1 

can be investigated using modern data sets. For ex- 
ample, Comuzzie et al. (1995) reported dramatic re- 
ductions in Evenk facial measurements since the JNPE. 


JNPE biological data, collected under Boas' direction, 
reflected his faith in the analytical value of 
anthropometrics as part of holistic anthropological field- 
work, in contrast to Brinton's "armchair" anthropology. 
In geographic range, quality, and extent of data, the 
JNPE produced an unsurpassed amount of biological 
information about North Pacific peoples. Initial studies 
of the data contradicted Boas' Americanoid theory, 
which was based almost entirely on cultural similari- 
ties. Until recently, however, the JNPE anthropometric 
data had never been adequately analyzed to explore 
the biological relationships of peoples on both sides 
of the Bering Strait, as Boas had intended. Paradoxi- 
cally, although Boas never analyzed the biological data 
from the JNPE, a rejection of his Americanoid theory is 
possible only because he insisted that such metric data 
be collected. 

Boas' foresight in amassing quantitative biological 
data (despite doubts of their immediate utility) has given 
us extremely valuable biological records. These enable 
us to perform analyses that shed light on ancient and 
recent relationships, growth, and morphological 
changes over time. We should acknowledge the con- 
tributions of Franz Boas as we would an expert pho- 
tographer who captured a moment in time. Under his 
direction, over 18,000 American Indians and Siberians 
were measured. He was indeed prescient: many of the 
populations measured by his teams have disappeared 
through dispersion and assimilation. 

The rediscovery of Boas's anthropometric data has 
coincided with the availability of much greater statisti- 
cal and computational capabilities for analyzing them. 
Much more reliable biological information can be 
gleaned from all types of biological data, especially in 
the North Pacific, where important questions linger as 
to ancient migrations and more recent gene flow. While 

there are fewer computational limitations on analyses 
today, there are greater challenges for data collection. 
The authors hope that all varieties of biological data 
will be collected as part of any North Pacific research 
project in order to assess modern population relation- 
ships, to compare the new data with other informa- 
tion collected over the last 100 years, and to investi- 
gate changes in growth and body form since the JNPE. 


The late Douglas Cole commented on sections of this 
paper and provided important references. Regna Darnell 
provided information about D. G. Brinton and his rela- 
tionship to Boas. Both Regna Darnell and George Stock- 
ing, Jr., commented on earlier versions of this paper 
and a similar publication. Jaymie Brauer, Belinda Kaye, 
Barbara Mathe, and Thomas Miller at the AMNH were 
very helpful in assembling the Boas records and find- 
ing additional Jesup Expedition materials. At the 
Smithsonian Institution, Igor Krupnik provided valuable 
editorial comments and assistance in locating Siberian 
ethnic names and Russian place names. Daniel Meyer 
at the Regenstein Library Archives of the University of 
Chicago provided much-needed assistance. 


1. The contrast between inductive and de- 
ductive logic and reasoning does not adequately 
describe the differences between Boas' and 
Brinton's research methods. The conclusion of a 
deductive argument is claimed to follow neces- 
sarily from the premises. If the premises of a de- 
ductive argument are true and the argument is 
valid (the conclusion follows from the premises), 
then the conclusion must be true no matter what 
other information is added (Copi 1982). Brinton 
constructed deductive arguments by assembling 
published observations that supported a foregone 
conclusion, such as the psychic unity of mankind 
or the unique nature of American Indian culture, 
and ignoring any observations and explanations 
to the contrary. This deductive approach limited 
what data were relevant, for they were being gath- 
ered for a specific purpose. 



By contrast, Boas' approach was inductive 
because he was concerned with gathering as 
many data as possible; the data were not par- 
ticularly constrained by conclusions or theory. In- 
ductive reasoning involves probabilistic state- 
ments, and the probabilities can change as new 
information is added. Inductive reasoning gener- 
ally involves analogies, generalizations, and causal 
connections (Copi 1982). 

As a result of their different approaches. Boas 
made more numerous and far greater enduring con- 
tributions to anthropology. Brinton's legacy is one 
of pompous and flowery writing, full of conclu- 
sions that sound well founded but have over- 
whelmingly proved false, untestable, or irrelevant. 
Boas, by contrast, generally avoided theorizing 
(with the notable exception of the "Americanoid" 
theory), and some have interpreted this as a weak- 
ness. Boas, however, left behind cautious explo- 
rations of data in his publications, numerous col- 
lected items of material culture, and mountains 
of archived data that others can use even today 
to test theories. The JNPE is a microcosm of Boas' 
career in that great amounts of data were col- 
lected but no comprehensive results and conclu- 
sions were published. 

2. An invoice was found among Boas' pro- 
fessional correspondence for "computers" — of the 
human variety — to calculate statistics from his bio- 
logical data. 

3. This was Boas' second setback for anthro- 
pometric data collection in the Amur River area. 
In 1893, he had sent D. Scott Moncrieff, an expe- 
rienced measurer who had worked in British Co- 
lumbia, to the Amur River to gather data for an 
exhibit at the World's Columbian Exposition. 
Shortly after his arrival, Moncrieff drowned while 
testing a native boat Qohnson 1897). 

4. Dina Jochelson-Brodsky's study was ad- 
vertised on the cover page of the Oetteking vol- 
ume as Part 2 of that volume, although her contri- 
bution was never published — ed. 

5. For data in Table 4, order is from lowest 
to highest SI. Males and females were combined. 
Except for Evenk-SW, the Even and Evenk samples 
were pooled according to region. Abbreviations: 
EskLab, Labrador Eskimo; EskMak, MacKenzie 
Delta Eskimo; EskSib, Siberian Eskimo; Eve-NE, Even 
and Evenk from the northeastern area of the JNPE; 

Eve-NW, Even and Evenk from the northwestern 
area of the JNPE; Evenk-SW, Evenk from Nayakhan 
and Gizhiga; MariChuk, Maritime Chukchi; NPBKory, 
Koryak from northern Penzhina Bay (Kamenskoye 
and Talovka); ReinChuk, Reindeer Chukchi; Rein- 
Kory, Reindeer Koryak; WPBKory, Koryak from 
western Penzhina Bay (Kuel, Itkana, Paren River). 

6. Although language is not necessarily a bar- 
rier to gene flow, dialects can reflect social inter- 
actions. The Koryak of northeastern Kamchatka 
speak Aliutor, a distinctive dialect of Koryak, if 
not a separate language (Krauss 1988). The 
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2 77 

Voices from Liberia 

^thnomusicologtj of the ^Jesup Expedition 


The stories, folklore texts, and other spoken narratives 
collected during the Jesup North Pacific Expedition 
(1897-1902) are fairly well known and are generally 
available in published editions. By contrast, the musi- 
cal sound recordings are much less accessible, and 
their place or purpose in the original expedition design 
is not adequately understood. The recordings include 
Northwest Coast and Arctic Siberian collections that 
have never been reviewed or subjected to compara- 
tive analysis in any published study. I come to this 
subject through my previous research related prima- 
rily to North American Indian music of northern Califor- 
nia (Keeling 1992a, 1992b). Ideas about music as a 
vehicle for cultural analysis or historical interpretations 
have changed immensely over the past 100 years. 
What intrigued me was the opportunity to subject Boas' 
data to the light of modern theories. 

There is a vast amount of recorded evidence and 
published research to build on. In order to help others 
locate some of the more important early recordings 
and the related writings, I have prepared an inventory 
and bibliography, which follow (Appendixes A and B). 
While many of these early collections have been docu- 
mented quite carefully, the jesup Expedition musical 
recordings remain poorly understood , despite their 
key importance for future research. 

Boas' Early Musicological Research 

Music was important to Boas. He addressed the sub- 
ject in more than 20 publications; he corresponded 

with virtually all the major figures in Native American 
music research throughout his career; and his students 
included not only such distinguished musicologists as 
George Herzog and Helen Roberts but also Alfred 
Kroeber and Edward Sapir, whose accomplishments 
in the area of native music research are less well known.' 

Boas was among the first to recognize that vari- 
ous aspects of culture — "religion and science; music, 
poetry, and dance; myth and history; fashion and eth- 
ics" — were all "intrinsically interwoven" (Boas 1 904:243). 
This concept not only revolutionized current thinking 
with respect to the nature of culture but also offered 
the fascinating possibility that music and the arts could 
be vehicles for comparative research. 

In fact. Boas was an early pioneer in ethnomus- 
icology. Systematic research on what was then called 
"primitive music" began in 1 886 when Carl Stumpf pub- 
lished a paper describing songs performed by a group 
of Bella Coola Indians who visited Germany in 1885. 
(Myron Eels had published a pioneering paper on Ameri- 
can Indian music six years earlier; see Eels 1 879.) Boas 
joined the new field almost immediately by publishing 
similar, although less detailed, descriptions of music in 
his classic ethnography of the Central Eskimo (Boas 
1888). The musical notations in these and all earlier 
studies were done by ear. A major advance occurred 
with the invention of the Edison phonograph, patented 
in the United States in 1 877, which made it easier to 
collect musical data and also made the process of 
transcription and analysis much more efficient. 


The Edison-type phonograph was first used for eth- 
nographic research in 1 890, when Jesse Walter Fewkes 
created 31 cylinders of songs and spoken texts from 
the Passamaquoddy Indians of Maine. Here again, Boas 
was not far behind. In 1893 and 1895 he made al- 
most 1 50 cylinder recordings among the KwakiutI 
[Kwakwaka'wakw] on Vancouver Island and also 
among various tribes of the Thompson River area in 
British Columbia (see Appendix A). The Thompson River 
recordings have particular significance because they 
later became the subject of an important paper by 
Otto Abraham and Erich von Hornbostel of the Berlin 
Phonogram Archive. 

With this publication (Abraham and von Hornbostel 
1 906), the German musicologists Stumpf, Abraham, 
and von Hornbostel had taken the lead in compara- 
tive music theory. Using fairly detailed transcriptions 
and statistical methods, they developed a style of 
analysis that basically extended the concept of cul- 
tural relativism to music. Previously, it had been thought 
that "primitive" peoples were incapable of singing in 
tune. Abraham and von Hornbostel showed, however, 
that the style of the Thompson River singers was per- 
fectly regular and consistent but was simply guided 
by different principles of composition. 

So when the Jesup Expedition began in 1 897, Boas 
probably had high expectations for musicology as a 
major component of the project, perhaps hoping to 
justify his own long-standing commitment to music 
as a central element in culture. The outlook for com- 
parative musicology as a historical method had never 
seemed more promising, armed as it was with a new 
advanced technology for field collection and docu- 
mentation, the Edison phonograph, and with exciting 
new developments in theory. 

This optimistic spirit lasted well into the 1930s, 
when comparative research on Native American mu- 
sic reached a peak of sorts in the work of George 
Herzog (1935a, 1935b, 1936) and Helen Roberts (see 
Appendix B). There followed a leveling of interest that 
lasted through the 1950s. Since then, comparative 


musicology has continuously declined as a focus within 
the discipline of ethnomusicology. Indeed, it seems 
ironic that the recent resurgence of interest in the field 
is gravitating to such a degree around the same North 
Pacific region and many of the same comparative is- 
sues that had first stimulated Boas' interest a hundred 
years earlier. 

Musical Sound Recordings of the JNPE 

Boas commissioned four or five separate musical col- 
lections during the Jesup Expedition. This paper focuses 
mainly on two sets of recordings that Waldemar 
Jochelson and Waldemar Bogoras collected in Siberia 
(Fig. 70). Other music-related investigations commis- 
sioned as part of the Jesup Expedition research were 
conducted by Livingston Farrand among the Quile- 
ute and Quinault in 1898 and by John Reed Swanton 
among the Haida in 1900-01 (see Appendix A). In 
addition. Boas' 1 905 report on Jesup Expedition activi- 
ties includes passages from letters in which Berthold 
Laufer described making sound recordings among the 
Nivkh [Cilyak] of Sakhalin Island in 1 898-99. These cyl- 
inders, however, do not seem to have been deposited 
at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in 
New York, and I have not been able to locate them in 
other American collections. Thus Bogoras' and Jochel- 
son's recordings of songs and texts during 1 900-02 
represent the only cylinder collection from northern 
Siberia. They are an important component in any dis- 
cussion of the music of the Native people of the North 
Pacific region. The ethnic groups represented include 
the Koryak, Tungus [Even], Yukagir, Yakut [Sakha], Chuk- 
chi, and Siberian Eskimo [Yupik]. In all, there are 1 30 
documented Jesup Expedition Siberian cylinders, origi- 
nally deposited at the AMNH. Today, duplicates of the 
recordings on tape are most readily available from the 
Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University, 
grouped under catalogue number 54-1 49-F.^ 

One type of singing that is described in the pub- 
lished literature but was evidently not recorded (or is 
not identified properly in the available documentation) 


(drumming continues throughout) 

/ 1=3 1 

1 ^ 1,.... 1=^ 

— '- 

- J 

1-4 — 

_ 1 3_j 

76/ Notation of song performed by Koryak female shaman, recorded by Waldemar Jochelson, 1900. 

is that connected with a Circle Dance performed 
among several Arctic Siberian groups. Jochelson has 
this to say about the dance, its distribution, and the 
animal symbolism in the songs: 

The circle dance is accompanied with 
singing, which consists of four notes corre- 
sponding to the four steps. The words 
sung — ho'yoi-he'yui or he'ke-ha'ka — are 
Tungus. The Yukaghir do not know their 
meaning, and hold them to be pure interjec- 
tions. It seems pretty obvious to me that this 
dance has been borrowed from the Tungus. 
Possibly the Yakut have also borrowed it 
from the latter; but among the Yukaghir this 
dance is at times accompanied by singing 
and motions which are absent in the circle 
dance of the Tungus but have become 
familiar to us in dances of the Chukchi and 
Koryak. The Tungus singing referred to above 
was from time to time interrupted by a 
guttural rattle and by other sounds in 
imitation of the cries of various animals. 
Some of the dancers, generally girls, produce 
very skillfully a guttural rattle resembling the 
grunting of seals, while the others answer 
with higher guttural sounds. Qochelson 

Jochelson made four recordings of a Yakut [Sakha] 
woman performing what seem to be epic songs but 
are not identified as such in the documentation pro- 
vided with the recordings (ATM cylinders 4569^562). 
Epic songs called yukara are also an important genre 
among the Ainu of northern Japan. Thus, the lack of 
epic songs in other Jesup Expedition collections raises 
the question of the extent to which the Jesup record- 
ings provide a complete picture of Native Siberian 
musical activities. 

Shaman Songs 

What is certainly a strength of Jesup Siberian record- 
ings is the significant number of shaman songs. Disre- 
garding the cylinders containing spoken narratives and 
Russian material, there are 92 songs or other musical 
items, of which 37 are clearly identified as being sha- 
manistic in character.^ The recordings contain many 
different types of shamanistic vocalizing, which sug- 
gests a possible distinction between Koryak, Chukchi, 
and Tungus singing. Their importance for research is 
enhanced by the fact that they correspond to activi- 
ties that are extensively documented in the published 
ethnographies by Jochelson (1908, 1910-26) and 
Bogoras (1904-09). 

One very prominent style among the musical re- 
cordings is illustrated in a song performed by a female 
Koryak shaman. It was recorded by Jochelson at the 
Koryak village of Kuel, on the coast of the Sea of 
Okhotsk in Northeast Siberia (Fig. 76).'' This is a fairly 
repetitive two-phrase melody {a and b), and in fact the 
a section has a variant that makes it nearly identical 
with section b. The range is quite narrow, as the scale 
consists basically of Just two tones only a minor third 
apart. For a woman, the vocal quality is raspy, nasal- 
ized, and strongly accentuated. The metrical structure 
is basically simple, but the rhythm is very complex in 
detail because it follows the changing syllables of a 
text and is highly flexible or irregular in character. 

A more exaggerated version of the same basic 
style was performed for Jochelson by a male Koryak 
shaman from the same village. It has an even more 


J « 1 J ] ^ J I ] I J (drumming cont inues throughout ) 



77/ Notation of song performed by Koryak male shaman, recorded by Waldemar Jochelson, 1900. 

repetitive melody and is narrower in range, a major 
second. In Boas' transcription the same melodic pat- 
tern is reiterated seven times, with slight variations, 
but on the recording itself it is repeated as few as five 
and as many as eight times between breaks, and there 
is also variation in the vocable patterns, as shown in a 
typical rendition (Fig. 77). The tones are not clearly 
focused in pitch, and there is much glottalization and 
pulsation (indicated by the parenthesized noteheads). 
The singing is loud and strongly accentuated. The 
drumming is mainly in triplets but does not seem to be 
precisely coordinated with the vocal part. On bal- 
ance, the Koryak songs notated in Figures 76 and 77 
represent the most predominant vocal pattern docu- 
mented in the Jesup Expedition recordings, since the 
collection also includes Yukagir and Chukchi songs in 
a similar style. 

A distinctly different style is heard in three songs 
performed by a Tungus [Even] shaman at Najakhan 
[Nayakhan], Siberia. In one of them (Fig. 78), what seems 
to be a lexically meaningful text is intoned to a two- 
beat melodic pattern that is repeated for as few as 
five repetitions and as many as nine between breaks. 
The phrase "bo-bo-bo-bo-bo-bo-bo," not shown in the 

± too 



78/ Notation of a song performed by a Tungus male shaman, recorded by Waldemar 
Jochelson, 1901. 

notation, is interjected twice in a higher register. As in 
the previous examples, the melody is quite repetitive, 
but this is clearly a text-driven form, and the speechlike 
vocal delivery is also much more relaxed than in the 
previous examples. I have noticed a softer vocal deliv- 
ery and similar three-tone scales in other, more recent 
recordings of Tungus singing collected by the Russian 
ethnomusicologist Yuri Sheikin.^ 

Several of the Jesup Expedition recordings contain 
sounds that were made by shamans while conjuring 
spirits or actually being possessed. These "animal spirit" 
sounds are virtually impossible to notate, and the 
recordings must truly be heard to appreciate the 
variety of phonetics and vocal techniques involved. In 
his description of the performance of a Yukagir 
shaman named Tretyakov, Jochelson employed 
phonetic spellings to indicate the voices the shaman 
used in conjuring nine different animals, including 
various types of birds, a wolf, and a bear Gochelson 

Bogoras also provided several vivid descriptions 
of shamanic seances and demonstrations, including 
this account of what happens when a kele (a mon- 
strous evil spirit) enters the body of a Chukchi shaman: 

The shaman 
shakes his head 
violently, produc- 
ing with his lips a 
peculiar chattering 
noise not unlike a 
man who is 
shivering with 
cold. He shouts 
hysterically, and in 
a changed voice 
utters strange, 
prolonged shrieks 






such as "O to to to," or "I pi, pi, pi, pi" — all of 
which are supposed to characterize the voice 
of the kelet. He often imitates the cries of 
various animals and birds which are supposed 
to be his particular assistants. If the shaman is 
only a "single-bodied" one — that is, has no 
ventriloquistic power, the kelet will proceed to 
sing and beat the drum by means of his body. 
The only difference will be in the timbre of the 
voice, which will sound harsh and unnatural, as 
becomes supernatural beings. . . . With other 
shamans the kelet appear all at once as 
"separate voices" . . . from all sides of the room, 
changing their place to the complete illusion of 
their listeners. Some voices are at first faint, as if 
coming from afar; as they gradually approach 
they increase in volume, and at last they rush 
into the room, pass through it and out, de- 
creasing, and dying away in the remote 
distance. Other voices come from 
above, pass through the room and 
seem to go underground, where they 
are heard as if from the depths of the 
earth. Tricks of this kind are played also 
with the voices of animals and birds, 
and even with the howling of the 
tempest, producing a most weird 
effect. (Bogoras 1904-09:435) 

Yupik Songs 

The Jesup Expedition recordings clearly docu- 
ment a different style of vocal music being 
performed among the Yupik [Siberian Eskimo]. 
Beyond the obvious differences in vocal qual- 
ity, the style of a Yupik song is clearly distin- 
guished from those of the other Siberian 
groups by its wider melodic range, relatively 
complex strophic form, and six-tone scale. 
On the recordings by Bogoras, one song is 
sung three times, first in vocables (as notated) 
and then twice with words. The text of this 
song could not be transcribed effectively. It 
is notated a minor second lower than it 
sounds on the recording (Fig. 79). 

Bogoras theorized that several of the 
Maritime Chukchi songs he recorded in 1 901 
were largely imitations of Eskimo songs 
(Bogoras 1904-09:138). Influences of the 
more complex Eskimo style are also appar- 
ent in unpublished notations of Chukchi songs 

by George Herzog.'' Bogoras' Chukchi recordings also 
include "vocal games" or "throat games" much like 
those performed by Eskimo women all across the Arc- 
tic region, thus providing a highly significant basis for 
comparison. According to Bogoras (1904-09:268-9) 
these sounds imitate animal spirits such as Raven, Fox, 
and Bear, suggesting that although the songs are os- 
tensibly games, they may have shamanistic implica- 
tions as well. Similar vocal games are documented 
among the Ainu of northern Japan and the Amur River 
Nanay (who belong to the Tungusic language stock), 
but they are not present among other Siberian record- 
ings in the Jesup Expedition collection.' 




'ok ya 'a. [a] (a.) (a) ya ba. yo. - 

ya yo. ""a (o) (a) bey yd n^a. ya 

3 . > . r 1 14 

\ (x) no. ya. 'a (3) ya. ya (a.) nja ya 'o. 


ya. 'a me y£ ya m£(£.) \ (a.) yl yo. yt ya. 

J J ; 


'£ yo. 


ya yo. 

he 0) ya. 

he yo. - ''a hey ya. 



^£ ya. ya ya 


\ \l 1 

1 J ll 

79/ Notation of a song preformed by a Yupik Eskimo man, 
recorded by Waldemar Bogoras, 1901. 



Comparative Perspectives on Arctic 
Siberian Singing 

Given these general divisions, Tungus [Even], Yakut 
[Sakha], and Siberian Eskimo [Yupik] songs are clearly 
related to, but also distinguishable from, a core Arctic 
Siberian vocal style that could be summarized as fol- 

1 . Shamans' songs tend to predominate. 

2. The singing is loud and raspy, with much 
glottalization, vocal pulsation, and nasality. 

3. Most texts consist of vocables or combinations 
of words and vocables; the texts are highly repetitive, 
and vocable patterns seem to be varied rather freely. 

4. All of the songs are soloistic (except for vocal 
games), though this may be because certain genres 
were not recorded. 

5. Simple one- or two-phrase melodies are the rule, 
and phrases are short. 

6. The melodic range is narrow. 

7. The melodic contour is flat or undulating. 

8. Simple two- or three-note scales predominate, 
and the intonation is diffuse or imprecise. 

9. Tempos are quick; simple meters and one-beat 
rhythms predominate. 

1 0. There seems to be a great deal of emphasis on 
vocal "sound effects," some of which require consider- 
able virtuosity, while melodic and rhythmic patterns 
are highly repetitive. 

In comparing this music with New World styles, 
the differences between Arctic Siberian singing and 
the more "complex" styles generally associated with 
Eskimo (Inuit) singing or the Indian music of the North- 
west Coast are striking. Utilizing standard methodol- 
ogy, a musical overview of the North Pacific region as 
a whole would have to include at least six distinct 
subareas: Ainu, Arctic Siberia, Eskimo-Aleut, Athabasc- 
an, Northwest Coast, and Northwestern California. 
Describing song types and general profiles for the vo- 
cal music of these groups would undoubtedly pro- 
duce interesting evidence of historical contacts and 
local elaborations. There is a fundamental consistency 

through which the shamanistic functions of vocal mu- 
sic are expressed throughout the North Pacific region, 
despite the variations or differences between musical 
systems. These patterns of musical symbolism are clearly 
distinct from those documented elsewhere in North 
America during the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

New Directions in Comparative Music 

In order to understand the musical traditions of the 
North Pacific region as a whole, or to appreciate that 
Arctic Siberian recordings have significance for Native 
American music, knowledge of advances in music 
theory over the past 1 00 years is helpful. 

The standard approach for analyzing musical sys- 
tems, as employed by NettI (1 954), focuses mainly on 
the stylistic characteristics of the music itself. This ap- 
proach, however, has several drawbacks. The predomi- 
nant characteristics are always difficult to identify with 
certainty in repertories that are seldom homogeneous, 
and this way of thinking does not place enough em- 
phasis on the relationships between style and cultural 
function or significance. Nettl's approach is also 
synchronic in that it allows no means of documenting 
change over time. This is a problem that has limited 
the success of comparative research on Native Ameri- 
can music since its beginnings. NettI basically tries to 
identif/ the predominant styles of Indian and Eskimo 
music in six different culture areas and finds no corre- 
spondence with the Siberian style. 

A more integrated concept would focus more on 
the social and ritual contexts of music-making and on 
musical semiotics or symbolism. Specifically, I believe 
that connections can be found between the music 
itself and other elements of what I have called "the 
northern hunting complex" or the "northern hunting re- 
ligion" (Keeling 1992b:36-9). This concept basically 
follows the interpretations in Fitzhugh and Crowell 
(1988) and in earlier works such as Hallowell's (1926) 
study of bear ceremonialism. It includes such features 
as animal understanding of human intentions, refleshing 



of animals after the kill, and generalized shamanism. 
Songs and dances that imitate or evoke animal deities 
are central to this complex. 

As George Herzog pointed out in 1935 (Herzog 
1935b), most Indian repertories also contain simpler 
songs — older songs, evidently — in which the singer 
imitates the speech of animals or spirit-persons. Liter- 
ally hundreds of these "animal-speech songs" were col- 
lected among North American Indian tribes between 
1890 and 1930. These do correspond to the Arctic 
Siberian style, and their wide distribution throughout 
North America strongly suggests that the style is very 
ancient indeed. This highlights the importance of ac- 
counting for the historical dimension in any compara- 
tive study, not only across the North Pacific region but 
all over North America. This type of song is quite pos- 
sibly the very type of singing that Paleo-lndian peoples 
brought with them when they first populated the 
Americas, a type from which other styles of singing 
gradually developed. In other words, the significance 
of the Siberian recordings is perhaps best revealed by 
taking a historical approach to the field of Native 
American music as a whole. 

Although this "musical archaeology" has some sci- 
entific value, it has other implications as well. Most 
important, it tends to validate the songs and dances 
of modern Native peoples. The older viewpoint im- 
plies that modern styles and functions of music are 
somehow less authentic than those of the 1 8th and 
1 9th centuries. By contrast, a historical orientation un- 
derlines the fact that Native American culture has been 
changing and adapting to new circumstances for thou- 
sands of years. 

Future research on the music of the North Pacific 
region therefore also needs to focus on contemporary 
musical activities. This is important for promoting cul- 
tural survival and increasing public awareness that Na- 
tive cultures are by no means becoming "extinct." But 
it is also necessary because this modern Native music 
has social, psychological, and even political functions 
that are historically significant in their own right. 


I mentioned toward the beginning how ironic it 
seems that a recent interest in comparative studies of 
music has centered on the same region and some of 
the same questions that first absorbed Boas and his 
coworkers a century ago. But perhaps even more poi- 
gnant is the extent to which the prospects for future 
research depend on documenting and building on what 
the Jesup team accomplished. Without a doubt, the 
pathway to future investigations can only begin where 
the trail of the Jesup Expedition came to an end. 

Appendix A 

A Preliminary Inventory of Phonographic Cylinder 
Collections, 1 893 to 1 933 

This appendix provides an overview of early musical 
recordings, listed in roughly chronological order. Many 
of the collections listed here also include spoken texts. 
The following types of information are provided, as 
available: (a) collector's name, (b) tribes or ethnic groups 
represented, (c) approximate dates of the recordings, 
(d) number of cylinders recorded, (e) area where the 
recordings were made and name of the institution or 
program sponsoring the research, (f) the current loca- 
tions of tape duplicate recordings in (American) archives 
or libraries, and (g) published sources that provide mu- 
sical transcriptions, translations of song texts, or other 
useful information on the recordings. The citations re- 
fer to Appendix B, which presents a selected anno- 
tated bibliography of these and other relevant sources. 

As for cultural and geographic coverage, I have 
included recordings spanning an arc from the Ainu of 
northern Japan to the Yurok and other tribes of north- 
western California. Eastern Arctic Inuit groups such as 
the Caribou, Labrador, and Greenland Eskimo are not 
listed, although I have included materials identified as 
McKenzie Delta Eskimo, Copper Eskimo, and Central 
Eskimo. The lack of early cylinder collections from Alas- 
kan Eskimo groups was unexpected, considering that 
more recent types of recordings are fairly numerous. 

In preparing the inventory and bibliography, I re- 
lied on several reference works rather than personally 


consulting every source or collection. The list is in- 
tended to be comprehensive, but there are sure to be 
omissions and inaccuracies, particularly because I have 
summarized information that other sources generally 
provide in more detailed form. This appendix repre- 
sents a preliminary phase of my own research in the 
region. The formidable task of listing more recent re- 
cordings will have to be addressed later, at which time 
it may also be possible to provide additions and cor- 
rections to the present inventory. 


The institutions and programs that store original 
recordings or duplicates are as follows: 
AFC: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 

Washington, D.C. 
AMNH: American Museum of Natural History, New York 
ATM: Archives for Traditional Music, Indiana University, 


MJC: Melville Jacobs Collection, University of Washing- 
ton, Seattle 

1987:25; see also Roberts and Swadesh 1955. 


Ethnic Group 

Year(s) Number of 




Benjamin 1. 


1893 18 cylinders 

Collected at the 


Cray 1988: 



World's Columbian 



Exposition, with 


support from the 

Mary Hemenway 


Franz Boas 


1 893 or 37 cylinders 

Recorded at Fort 


Problems c 

and/or John 



Rupert, Vancouver 




Island, British 

ATM (54-1 21- 

discussed i 


Columbia, with 


Seeger and 

support from the 



Franz Boas 


1 895 91 cylinders 

Collected by Boas 


Problems c 

and George 


and Hunt for the 





ATM (54-035- 

discussed i 


Seeger and 


Franz Boas 

Thompson River 

1895 42 cylinders 

Recorded among 


Seeger and 


various tribes of 


1987:65; s 

the Thompson 

ATM (54-1 39- 

the notatio 

River area, British 


other infor 

Columbia, for the 

in Abrahan 


von Hornb( 



Quileute and 

1898 44 cylinders 

Collected from the 


Seeger and 



Quileute (10 



cylinders) and 

ATM (54-1 27-F, 

Quinault (34 

54-1 28-F). 

cylinders) of 

Washington State 

for the JNPE. 




Ethnic Croup 


Number of 




John Reed 



?: May have Research 

No collection 

Swanton 1912 



sponsored by 

has been 

contains 1 06 


the JNPE 


song texts and 



See also Swanto 



Northeast Siberia 

1 900-02 


Collected for 

Tape duplicates: 

Bogoras 1904-09 

Jochelson and 


the JNPE. 

ATM (54-1 49-F). 

1910, 191 3; 


Jochelson 1 908, 



George A. 


Ca. 1902 

7 cylinders 

Collected for 



the Field 



Alfred Kroeber Yurok, Hupa, 



Collected as 

Originals and 

Keeling 1991; 

and others 

Wiyot, Whilkut, 


nart of an 

tape duplicates: 


Chilula, Karok, 


Phoebe Hearst 

and Tolowa 

survey of the 

Museum of 





and Museum 

University of 





at University 

of California. 



narratives and 

musical items. 


Ainu (Sakhalin 




Description and 




Museum of 

notations for eaci 


recording are 

listed in National 

Museum of 

Ethnology 1 987. 

See also Tanimot 


John Reed 




Collected for 

Tape duplicates. 

Gray 1988:259- 



the BAE. 


74; also see 

Swanton 1908, 

1 909. 

Frank Speck 



1 cylinder 

Tape duplicate. 

Seeger and Spear 




Edward S. 




Tape duplicates: 

Seeger and Spear 


(Washington State) 






Collector Ethnic Croup Year(s) 

Number of 




Waldemar Aleut 

Edward S. 

trives of 

Edward Sapir Nootka, 

Tlingit, and 



Leo Joaquim Kaiapuya 
Frachtenberg Indian 


Herman Puget Sound 
Haeberlin Salish 

Leo Joaquim 



tribes of 
Nass and 
Skeena River 

HisaoTanabe Ainu of 















but also 1 8 






Number of 
1 37 songs. 

9 4-inch 

1 1 


82 4-inch 

?: Number 
300 songs 

?: Number 

Collected as part 
of the Riabush- 
inski (Aleut- 
Expedition of the 
Imperial Russian 

Collected from the 
Clayoquot (11), 
Cowichan (3), 
Hisquiat (3), 
KwakiutI (6) and 
Makah (2). 

From the Nottka 
(99), Tlingit (1) 
and Tsimshian (1 ). 

Originals stored 
in St. Peters- 
burg, Russia. 
Copies: Alaska 
Center; ATM 


duplicates: ATM 
(57-01 4-F). 

Seeger and 
Spear 1 987; see 
also Bergslund 
and Dirks 1 990 

Seeger and 
Spear 1987:80- 
3; see also 
Curtis 1907-30. 

Seeger and 


duplicates: ATM Spear 1987:25; 
(57-041 -F). see also Roberts 

and Swadesh 



Recorded at Grand 



Identified as 
Snohomish (1 0) 
and Snoqualmie 


Songs are 
transcribed by 
Helen Roberts in 
Roberts and 
Jenness 1 925 

Cray 1988:140- 

duplicates: AFC. 4. 

Noted and 
analyzed by 
Helen Roberts in 
Roberts and 
Haeberlin 1918. 

Tape Gray 1988:223- 

duplicates: AFC. 54 

National Barbeau 
Museum of Man 1 933:1 01 , 
Archives 1934. 





Ethnic Group 


Number of 









1923 and 


From the Makah 


Cray 1988:101 


Clayoquot, and 



(1 53), Clayoquot 


19, 120-6, 152 


(48), and Quileute 





Various tribes 



From the 


Gray 1988:120 


near Chilliwack 


Halkomelem Coast duplicates: 

128-38, 207-1 


Salish (2 1 ), Nitinat 




(33), Mainland 

Comox (24), and 

Squamish (1 0). 




377 items, 


For information 





the recordings. 




see Gray and 




1990:1 1 7-63. 


Songs are also 


notated and 

discussed in 

Keeling 1992. 


Klikitat Sahaptin 



Recorded at 


Seaburg 1982:- 


and others 









Mainly Klikitat 

Sahaptin. Includes 

items identified as 

Molale, Klamath, 

and "Siletz 







Gray 1988:85- 




tapes: AFC; 

100; Seaburg 





songs and 




Ainu of 


?: 22 

Part of a 

Asakura and 


Hokkaido (Saru 



Tsuchida 1988 

River area) 

of Ainu 



Arthur C. 




Recorded at 


Seaburg 1982:' 








each with 




many short 




Collector Ethnic Croup 


Number of 









Coos (Oregon) 

Morris Nootka [Nuu- 
Swadesh chah-nulth] 





1 1 

many short 
items on 

1 cylinder 
a story 
with an 

J2ns , 

Recorded at Port 
Simpson, British 

Recorded at 
Florence (Oregon) 
and Empire 
(Oregon). Mainly 
Coos of Hanis and 
Miluk dialects. 







Seaburg 1982:53- 

Seaburg 1982:56- 

Cray 1988:21 7-8. 

Appendix B: Selected Annotated Bibliog- 
raphy of Pub-lications on North Pacific 
Musical Sound Recordings and Existing 
Phonographic Collections 

Abraham, Otto, and Erich M. von Hornbostel 

1 906 Phonographierte Indianermelodien aus Britisch- 
Columbia. In Boas Anniversary Volume: Anthropo- 
logical Papers Written in Honor of Franz Boas . . . 
Presented to Him on the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of 
His Doctorate. Pp. 447-74. New York: C. E. Stechert. 
Trans, by Bruno NettI in Hornbostel Opera Omnia, 1 , 
Klaus Wachsmann et al., eds. The Hague: Martinus 
Nijhoff, 1975. 

Contains analyses and transcriptions of 43 
Thompson River Indian songs collected by Franz 
Boas and sent by him to Erich M. von Hornbostel of 
the Phonogramm Archiv of the University of Berlin. 
The fine transcriptions, quantitative analyses, and 
relatively slight information on the cultural contexts 
of the music make this a prime example of com- 
parative methodology as practiced by the so-called 
Berlin school. 

Asakura, Toshimitsu, and Shigeru Tsuchida 

1988 Kan Shinai-kai/Nihon-kai Shominzoku no 
Onsei/Eizo Shiryo no Saisei/Kaiseki (Recreation and 
analysis of sound and visual sources on Native 
peoples of the Chinese and Japanese oceanic area). 
Sapporo: University of Hokkaido, Institute of Applied 

The recordings were made by Takeshi Kitasato 
(1870-1960), who sought to explore the origins of 
the Japanese language through a comparative study 
of several languages of the Pacific area. He collected 
240 recordings in all, many containing songs and 
other musical items. Kitasato's recordings, including 
22 items of Saru Ainu music collected in 1931, are 
catalogued in Appendix A. 

Barbeau, C. Marius 

1933 Songs of the Northwest. Musical Quarterly 
19:101-1 1. 

Contains 8 musical notations and translations 
of songs from a total collection of 300 songs re- 
corded by Barbeau in 1 920 and the years following. 
The transcriptions (by Barbeau and Ernest MacMillan) 
seem faithful, but tribal and linguistic identifications 
are not always clear. The songs were collected along 
the Nass and Skeena Rivers in British Columbia, and 
tribal groups are identified as Tahltan [Athapascan], 
Carrier [Athapascan], Citskan [Penutian], and 
Tsimshian [Penutian]. An Asiatic origin for the songs 
is asserted but is not systematically demonstrated. 

1 934 Asiatic Survivals in Indian Songs. Musical Quar- 
terly 20:107-16. 

A continuation of topics touched on in 
Barbeau (1 933), this includes five musical examples 
from the Nass River and Skeena River regions in north- 
ern British Columbia. The relationship of these songs 
to the musical traditions of Siberia, Japan, and China 
is argued mainly on the subjective impressions shared 
by Barbeau and a Chinese scholar. 



1951 Tsimshian Songs. In The Tsimshian: Their Arts 
and Music. Viola E. Garfield, Paul S. Wingert, and Marius 
Barbeau, eds. Pp. 94-280. Publications of the Ameri- 
can Ethnological Society, 18. New ed.: University of 
Washington Press, Seattle, 1966. 

Contains musical transcriptions, analyses, 
texts, and translations for 75 songs collected by 
James Teit in 1915 and by Barbeau, ca. 1920-29. 
The transcriptions are by Barbeau and Ernest 
MacMillan; the musical analyses are by Marguerite 
Beclard d'Harcourt. The analysis and musical ex- 
amples are edited by George Herzog. 

Bergsland, Knut, and Moses L. Dirks, eds. 

1990 Unangam Ungiikangin kayux Tunusangin/ 
Unangam Uniikangis ama Tunuzangis: Aleut Tales 
and Narratives, Collected 1909-10 by Waldemar 
Jochelson. Alaska Native Language Center. Fairbanks: 
University of Alaska. 

Mainly contains translations of spoken narra- 
tives but also includes a song text ("Blanket-Tossing 
Song," pp. 486-7) and translations of 1 2 Eastern Aleut 
songs first published in Russian by loann Veniaminov 
in 1 840 and 1 846. Cylinder recordings of 1 8 songs 
collected by Jochelson are among the holdings at 
the Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana University 
(catalogue no. 80-226-F). 

Boas, Franz 

1 887 Poetry and Music of Some American Tribes. 
Science 9:383-5. 

Contains three musical examples (with texts 
and translations) collected by Boas among the Eski- 
mos of Baffin Island and another song (music, text, 
and translation) collected among Indians of British 
Columbia. Also includes general descriptions of the 
music in these areas. 

1 888a The Central Eskimo. In Annual Report of the 
Bureau of American Ethnology (1 884-1 885), 6. Pp. 
399-669. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. 

Contains musical transcriptions and analyses 
for 25 melodies collected by Boas in 1883-84 and 
4 notations reprinted from the Journal of Captain 
Parry (1 824) and other early sources. Also includes 
general comments on poetry and music (pp. 648- 
58) and descriptions of dance houses, drum con- 
struction, and drum-playing techniques. The research 
was done at Cumberland Sound and Davis Strait. 

1 888a On Certain Songs and Dances of the KwakiutI 
of British Columbia. Journal of American Folk-Lore 

Includes four musical notations (with texts and 
translations) collected by Boas in 1886 and 1887. 
Two other song texts are given in translation. 

1888b Chinook Songs. Journal of American Folk-Lore 

Contains 39 song texts and translations, in- 
cluding a Tlingit example. Also includes musical tran- 
scriptions for three of the songs. The research was 
conducted in 1886. 

1 891 Second General Report of the Indians of Brit- 
ish Columbia. In Report of the Meeting of the British 
Association for the Advancement of Science (in 
1890), 90. Pp. 562-715. 

Includes 1 melody and text identified as 
Lku'ngen Songish (p. 581), 15 Nootka [Nuu-chah- 
nulth] melodies and texts, with translations (pp. 588- 
603), and 20 KwakiutI song texts and translations 
(pp. 625-32). All of the material was collected by 
Boas in 1889. 

1894a Chinook Texts. Bureau of American Ethnology 
Bulletin 20. 

Contains 1 2 song texts (and translations) with 
rhythmic notations for each (pp. 1 1 6-8, 1 44, 1 46, 
150-1, 192, 234-5). 
1894b Eskimo Tales and Songs. Journal of American 
Folk-Lore 7:45-50. 

Includes song texts and translations for six 
songs, five of which are also included in Boas 1 888b. 
Lists and explains certain shamanic words in the 

1 896 Songs of the KwakiutI Indians. Internationales 
Archiv fur Ethnographie, 9 (suppl.):l-9. Leiden: E.J. 

Contains notations of five melodies and texts 
(with translations) of songs that Boas transcribed by 
ear and from phonographic recordings collected by 
John C. Fillmore. Six other song texts are given with- 
out notations. 
1 897 The Social Organization and the Secret Societ- 
ies of the KwakiutI Indians. In Report of the United 
States National Museum for 1895. Pp. 562-715. 
Reprint: Johnson Reprint Corporation, New York, 

Contains texts and translations for 1 2 songs 
(pp. 355 ff.). Provides verbal descriptions of songs 
and dances used in various ceremonies (pp. 431 ff.). 
Also includes transcriptions of 36 songs and texts, 
and texts only for 109 songs (pp. 665 ff.). 
1 898 The Mythology of the Bella Coola Indians. The 
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 2, pp. 25- 
1 27. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural 
History, 2. New York. Reprint: AMS Press, New York, 

Includes notations of four songs, three with 
texts (pp. 71, 82, 93, 94). Many other song texts 
and translations are also given (passim). 


1 90 1 Kathlamet Texts. Bureau of American Ethnol- 
ogy Bulletin 26. 

Contains texts and translations of four songs, 
one also transcribed in staff notation and two with 
rhythmic notation only (pp. 21, 24, 65, 1 54). 

1 902 Tsimshian Texts. Bureau of American Ethnol- 
ogy Bulletin 27. Washington, DC. 

Contains texts and translations of eight songs, 
three also transcribed in staff notation and two with 
rhythmic notation only (pp. 1 1, 63, 222, 224, 228, 
231, 232, 233). 

Boas, Franz, and George Hunt 

1 905 KwakiutI Texts. The Jesup North Pacific Expe- 
dition, vol. 3. Memoirs of the American Museum of 
Natural History, 5. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New York: C. E. 

Includes a section on "Songs" (pp. 475-91). 

Boas, Franz, and Henry Rink 

1 889 Eskimo Tales and Songs. Journal of American 
Folk Lore 2:123-31. 

Provides musical notations, song texts, and 
translations for two songs. Also includes translations 
of origin myths and discusses language dialect rela- 
tionships. Based on fieldwork done at Cumberland 
Sound in 1885. 

Bogoras, Waldemar 

1 904-09 The Chukchee. The Jesup North Pacific Expe- 
dition, vol. 7, pts. 1-3. Memoirs of the American 
Museum of Natural History, 1 1 . Leiden: E.J. Brill; New 
York: G. E. Stechert. Reprint: AMS Press, New York, 

Contains detailed descriptions of shamanis- 
tic practices (passim). Of particular interest is the ac- 
count of how Chukchi shamans were able to throw 
their spirit-voices like ventriloquists in shaman 
seances that Bogoras witnessed (pp. 435-9). Bogoras 
states that he captured these effects in cylinder re- 
cordings he made (p. 436). 
1910 Chukchi Mythology. The Jesup North Pacific 
Expedition, vol. 8, pt. 1 . Memoirs of the American 
Museum of Natural History, 1 2. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New 
York: G. E. Stechert. Reprint: AMS Press, New York, 

The section on "Songs" (pp. 1 38^5) contains 
interlinear and free translations for 16 song texts. 
Two (pp. 1 42-4) are identified as shaman songs and 
are described in greater detail than others. 
1913 The Eskimo of Siberia. The Jesup North Pacific 
Expedition, vol. 8, pt. 3. Memoirs of the American 
Museum of Natural History, 1 2. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New 
York: G. E. Stechert. Reprint: AMS Press, New York, 


The section on "Songs' (pp. 437-52) contains 
interlinear and free translations for 43 song texts. 
Various types of songs are represented, but sha- 
manistic texts are particularly numerous (12 ex- 
amples). One set of six shamans' songs (pp. 445-7) 
presents incantations connected with the walrus 
hunt; the other six are sung at Winter Ceremonials. 

Burlin, Natalie (Curtis) 

1 907 The Indians' Book: An Offering by the Ameri- 
can Indians of Indian Lore, Musical and Narrative, to 
Form a Record of the Songs and Legends of Their 
Race. New York: Harper. Expanded 2d ed., 1923; 
reprints of 2d ed.: Dover, New York, 1950, 1968. 

Contains 1 49 melodies and texts from vari- 
ous tribes, mostly with translations or brief explana- 
tions of content. The author notated the songs by 
ear, without use of a recording device. Includes two 
KwakiutI [Kwakwaka'wakw] examples. 

Curtis, Edward S. 

1 907-30 The North American Indian, Being A Series of 
Volumes Picturing and Describing the Indians of the 
United States and Alaska. Frederick Webb Hodge, 
ed. 20 vols. Cambridge, MA: University Press. Re- 
print: Landmarks in Anthropology series, Johnson 
Reprint Corporation, New York, 1970. 

A vast storehouse of information with nota- 
tions of songs from various tribes or cultures. Vol. 8 
contains two Chinook melodies (pp. 96-98, 100). 
Vol. 9 contains five Cowichan melodies, one with 
text and translation, one with English translation only 
(pp. 73, 1 76-8); two Twana melodies (pp. 98, 111); 
and four Clallam melodies (pp. 1 79-80). Vol. 1 con- 
tains 23 KwakiutI melodies, 22 with texts and trans- 
lations, 1 with translation only (pp. 187-91, 195-6, 
200, 223-4, 244-5, 311-26). Vol. 11 contains 9 
Nootka melodies, 3 with texts and translations, 5 
with translations only (pp. 1 3, 37-8, 41, 48, 52-3, 
61 , 66-7, 81-2, 92-3), and 5 Haida melodies, 1 with 
text and translation, 4 with translations only (pp. 
123-4, 140-1, 147, 191-3). The songs were col- 
lected by Curtis and later transcribed by various other 

Densmore, Frances 

1939 Nootka and Quileute Music. Bureau of Ameri- 
can Ethnology Bulletin 74. 

Contains musical notations for 21 1 songs col- 
lected by Densmore in 1923 and 1926. Some texts 
are given in English, but native texts are lacking. The 
following groups are identified: Makah (1 38 songs), 
Clayoquot (52), Quileute (11), unspecified of 
Vancouver Island (7), Nootka (1), Quinault (1), and 
Yakima (1). 


1 943 Music of the Indians of British Columbia. Bu- 
reau of American Ethnology Bulletin 1 36, Anthropo- 
logical Papers, 2 7. 

Contains musical notations of 98 songs from 
various tribes. Each song is analyzed and described. 
The collection is compared with others the author 
has made using a (statistical) tabular approach. 

Eels, Myron 

1 879 Indian Music. American Antiquarian 1 :249-53. 
Describes music and instruments observed by 
the author in 1 875. Includes 24 melodies transcribed 
by ear and identified as follows: Clallam (1 0), Twana 
(1 2), and unspecified (2). 

Gillis, Frank J. 

1984 The Incunabula of Instantaneous Ethno- 
musicological Sound Recordings, 1 890-1 91 0: A Pre- 
liminary List. In Problems and Solutions: Occasional 
Essays in Ethnomusicology Presented to Alice M. 
Moyle. J. Kassler and J. Stubbington, eds. Pp. 323- 
55. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger. 

A useful guide to the location of early cylin- 
der recordings in archives. The focus is worldwide, 
but American Indian recordings predominate and are 
listed by area and tribe (pp. 327-39). 

Cray, Judith A., ed. 

1 988 Northwest Coast/Arctic Indian Catalog. In The 
Federal Cylinder Project: A Guide to Field Cylinder 
Collections in Federal Agencies, vol. 3. Great Basin/ 
Plateau Indian Catalog and Northwest Coast/Arctic 
Indian Catalog. Pp. 79-288. Washington, DC: Ameri- 
can Folklife Center, Library of Congress. 

Lists and describes contents of cylinder re- 
cordings in 20 collections. The annotated listing for 
each is preceded by an introduction providing back- 
ground information on the recordings themselves 
and on sources of transcriptions, translations, and 
other documentation. Tribes represented are identi- 
fied as Carrier Indian, Clackamas Chinook, Clayoquot, 
Comox (Mainland), Eskimo (Polar), Halkomelen, Ingalik 
Indian, Kalapuya, KwakiutI, Makah, Nitinat, Nootka, 
Quileute, Shasta, Squamish, Tlingit, Tsimshian, Tututni, 
and Upper Umpqua. 

Gray, Judith, and Edwin Schupman, eds. 

1 990 California Indian Catalogue. In The Federal 
Cylinder Project, vol. 5. California Indian Catalogue, 
Middle and South American Catalogue, Southwest- 
ern Catalogue. Pp. 1-328. Washington, DC: Ameri- 
can Folklife Center, Library of Congress. 

Lists and describes the contents of early 
cylinder recordings in 34 collections, most nota- 
bly those of John Peabody Harrington and Helen 
Heffron Roberts. 

Herzog, George 

1933 The Collections of Phonograph Records in 
North America and Hawaii. Zeitschrift fvir verg- 
leichende Musikwissenschaft 1:58-62. 

Indicates the locations of about 1 2,428 cyl- 
inder recordings in collections in the 1930s. For de- 
cades, this was the only such guide in existence, 
and it still remains useful because of its organization 
(by culture area and tribe) and its bibliography. 

Jochelson, Waldemar 

1 908 The Koryak. The Jesup North Pacific Expedi- 
tion, vol. 6, pts. 1-2. Memoirs of the American Mu- 
seum of Natural History, 10. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New 
York: C. E. Stechert. 

1 924 The Yukaghir and the Yukaghirized Tungus. 
The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 9, pt. 2 [Reli- 
gion, Folklore, Language]. Memoirs of the American 
Museum of Natural History, 1 3. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New 
York: C. E. Stechert. Reprint: AMS Press, New York, 

Contains detailed discussions of beliefs and 
practices related to shamanism (pp. 1 62-95, 1 96- 
218, 234-8). Also includes a section on "Songs" 
(pp. 310-3), with interlinear translations of five 
song texts. 

Keehng, Richard 

1991 A Guide to Early Field Recordings ( 1 900- 1 949) 
at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology. Berkeley and 
Los Angeles: University of California Press. 

An annotated catalogue of recordings col- 
lected on 2,71 3 cylinders between 1900 and 1938. 
The collection focuses primarily on tribes of Califor- 
nia and includes recordings of northwestern tribes 
(Yurok, Hupa, Karok, Tolowa, Wiyot) that clearly be- 
long to the North Pacific culture area. 

1992 Cry for Luck: Sacred Song and Speech among 
the Yurok, Hupa, and Karok Indians of Northwestern 
California. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of 
California Press. 

Contains notations, analyses, and ethnographic 
information relating to early cylinder recordings col- 
lected by Kroeber and others circa 1901-08. 

Kroeber, Alfred 

1 92 5 Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau 
of American Ethnology Bulletin 78. Washington, DC. 
Reprint: Dover Publications, New York, 1 976. 

A comprehensive overview of California Indian 
cultures, mainly in their precontact forms. Does not 
contain notations, but provides much information 
on the ritual contexts and cultural background of 
music-making. Also includes translations of song texts 
collected among many groups. 



National Museum of Ethnology 

1987 B. Piusuzuki Rokan no Rokuon Naiyo (Cata- 
logue of recordings by B. Pilsudski). Kokuhtsu Minzoku 
Hakubutsukan Kenkyu Hokoku Bessatsu, 5 (Research 
Report of the National Museum of Ethnology, 5). 
Osaka, Japan. 

A detailed documentation, in Japanese, of cyl- 
inder recordings collected by Pilsudski among the 
Ainu in 1 903. Includes musical notations, translations, 
and other information on each item recorded. The 
musical notations are by Kazuyuki Tanimoto. 

Nelson, Edward William 

1 899 The Eskimo about Bering Strait. Annual Report 
of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1 896-1 897), 
18, pt. 1 . Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. 

Contains descriptions of songs, dances, and 
instruments (pp. 347-57). Includes one musical ex- 
ample (notated by Bishop Seghers in 1 879) and three 
song texts and translations. 

Pilsudski, Bronislaw 

1912 Materials for the Study of Ainu Language and 
Folklore. J. Rozwadowksi, ed. Krakow. 

Pilsudski (1866-1918) was sentenced to 15 
years of hard labor and exile on Sakhalin Island for 
his political activities. While there, he became involved 
in ethnographic research on the Ainu and other 
Northeast Asian groups. A museum ethnographer 
by orientation, he not only collected artifacts but 
also gathered an enormous amount of folkloric data, 
including recordings on wax cylinders. 

Roberts, Helen Heffron, and Herman K. 

1918 Some Songs of the Puget Sound Salish. Jour- 
nal of American Folklore 331:496-520. 

Contains notations, texts, translations, and 
analyses for 1 1 songs collected by Haeberlin in 1 91 6; 
10 are from the Snohomish and 1 from the 
Snoqualmu [Snoqualmie]. The transcriptions and 
analyses are by Roberts, who also discusses general 
characteristics of the music. 

Roberts, Helen Heffron, and Diamond Jenness 

1 925 Songs of the Copper Eskimo. Report of the 
Canadian Arctic Expedition (1913-1918), }A. Ottawa: 
F. A. Ackland. 

Contains musical notations, texts, translations, 
and detailed analyses for 1 37 songs collected on 
cylinders by Jenness between 1914 and 1916. 
Croups represented are Copper Eskimo (113 songs), 
Mackenzie River Eskimo (1 2), Inland Hudson Bay Es- 
kimo (7), and Inupiat Eskimo of Point Hope, Alaska 
(5). Each song is analyzed separately, and various 

types of songs are described or defined. The first 
chapter contains a musical comparison of dance 
song styles and compares the style of dance songs 
with that of weather incantations. 

Roberts, Helen Heffron, and Morris Swadesh 

1955 Songs of the Nootka Indians of Western 
Vancouver Island. Transactions of the American Philo- 
sophical Society 45(3): 1 99-327. 

Contains notations and detailed analyses. 
1912 Haida Songs. Publications of the American Eth- 
nological Society, 3. Pp. 1-63. 

Contains 106 song texts and translations col- 
lected by Swanton in 1900 and 1901. 

Tanimoto, Kazuyuki 

1985 A Study on the Process of Chronological 
Changes in the Music of the Sakhalin Ainu Recorded 
by B. Pilsudski. In International Symposium on B. 
Pilsudski's Phonographic Records and the Ainu Cul- 
ture. Pp. 78-85. Sapporo: Hokkaido University of 

Discusses transformations in Ainu music and 
the difficulty of identifying certain items among the 
Pilsudski recordings. 

Teit, James Alexander 

1 900 The Thompson Indians of British Columbia. The 
Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 1 , pt. 4, pp. 163- 
392. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural 
History, 2. New York. Reprint: AMS Press, New York, 

Chapter 4, "Art, by Franz Boas, contains a sec- 
tion on "Music" (pp. 383-5) that discusses types of 
songs and instruments. 


1. George Herzog (1901-84) and Helen Rob- 
erts (1888-1985) established themselves as lead- 
ing theorists in comparative research on North 
American Indian music through several important 
publications in the 1 930s. Herzog entered the field 
as a student of Erich von Hornbostel in Berlin but 
later completed his doctorate under Boas in 1931. 
Roberts claimed that she entered the field of 
"primitive music" at the suggestion of Boas in 1918 
(Frisbie I 989:99). The contributions of Kroeber and 
Sapir to ethnomusicology are less well understood. 
Kroeber initiated the study of music among the 
Indians of California and assembled a vast collec- 
tion of wax-cylinder recordings from all over the 
region between 1900 and 1938. His "Handbook 
of the Indians of California" (1 925) provides trans- 



lations of many song texts and much information 
on the cultural contexts of the music (although it 
does not include musical notations or analyses 
as such). He also mapped the musical areas of 
California in his publication on the distribution of 
culture elements (Kroeber 1936). Sapir's technical 
abilities as a musicologist are clearly demon- 
strated by his skilled notations in the essay "Song 
Recitative in Paiute Mythology" (Sapir 1910). This 
paper — only one of several articles in which Sapir 
dealt with songs or song texts — was vastly ahead 
of its time as a study in musical semiotics or sym- 

2. The documentation that is currently avail- 
able from the Archives of Traditional Music, Indi- 
ana University, provides a listing of the record- 
ings but does not include other types of informa- 
tion that would greatly enhance their value as eth- 
nological documents. What we urgently need now 
is a published guide to the Jesup Expedition musi- 
cal collection that would not only list the record- 
ings but would also provide references to trans- 
lations and descriptions of related activities in 
published writings and manuscripts. The excellent 
transcriptions by Herzog should also be included, 
and there should be introductory essays discuss- 
ing the history of the research and providing gen- 
eral information on Native cultures of the North 
Pacific region. 

3. The Russian recordings seem to have been 
collected by Waldemar Bogoras [or his wife, Sofia 
Bogoras — ed.] in the village of Markovo on the 
Anadyr River and at Mariinsky Post, at the mouth 
of the river, near the Gulf of Anadyr. They include 
various genres such as epic songs, Christmas car- 
ols, love songs, and instrumental pieces. 

4. ATM cylinder 4540. The text (which seems 
to be at least partially composed of vocables) is 
not transcribed because it contains many slight 
changes. The melody is simplified for clarity, al- 
though one major variant is indicated in paren- 
theses and other variations by the use of smaller 
note heads. The melody is written a major sixth 
higher than what is heard on the recording. The 
rapid drum accompaniment does not seem to be 
precisely coordinated with the vocal part. 

5. Professor Sheikin presented a paper en- 
titled "Sound Culture of the Tungusic Croups" at 
the International Symposium on Comparative 

Studies of the Music, Dance, and Games of North- 
ern Peoples, Sapporo, Japan, January 20-25, 1 992. 
He kindly shared with me a tape containing 1 7 
items that he had recorded among various Tungus 
groups in Siberia since the 1970s. 

6. There are 52 pages of notations in this 
important manuscript. They mainly focus on the 
Chukchi recordings, but Herzog also transcribed 
some songs of other ethnic groups. The manu- 
script is available at the Department of Anthro- 
pology, AMNH. 

7. The Ainu vocal games (rekukkara) are am- 
ply documented in many sources (Fitzhugh and 
Dubreuil 1999). An example from the Nanay of 
the Amur River area was given in the lecture by 
Yuri Sheikin in 1992 (see note 5). 

8. This profile follows an outline that I have 
found useful in previous comparative research. The 
following aspects are considered: (1) genre, func- 
tion, or symbolism; (2) vocal quality or timbre, in- 
cluding loudness; (3) presence of words or 
vocables, text-setting, and repetition of text; (4) 
musical organization or texture; (5) musical form 
or structure, including phrase length; (6) melodic 
range; (7) melodic contour or direction; (8) scale, 
particularly number of tones in scale; (9) rhythm, 
especially meter and tempo; and (10) other no- 
table tendencies. 


Abraham, Otto, and Erich M. von Hornbostel 

1 906 Phonographierte Indianermelodien aus Britisch- 
Columbia. In Boas Anniversary Volume: Anthropo- 
logical Papers written in Honor of Franz Boas . . . 
Presented to Him on the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of 
His Doctorate. Pp. 447-74. New York: G. E. Stechert. 
Trans. Bruno NettI in Hornbostel Opera Omnia, 1 , Klaus 
Wachsmann et al., eds. (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 

Boas, Franz 

1 888 The Central Eskimo. In Sixth Annual Report of 
the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1884-1885. Pp. 
399-669. Washington, DC: Government Printing 

1905 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. In Interna- 
tional Congress of Americanists, 1 3th Session, Held 
in New York in 1902. Pp. 91-100. Easton, PA: 

Bogoras, Waldemar 

1904-09 The Chukchee. The Jesup North Pacific 



Expedition, vol. 7, pts. 1-3. Memoirs of the Ameri- 
can Music of Natural History, 1 1. Leiden: E. J. Brill; 
New York: C. E. Stechert. Reprint: AMS Press, New 
York, 1975. 
Eels, Myron 

1879 Indian Music. American Antiquarian 1:249-53. 
Fitzhugh, William W., and Aron Crowell, eds. 

1 988 Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia 
and Alaska. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution 

Fitzhugh, William W., and Chisato O. Dubreuil, 

1999 Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People. Washington, 
DC: National Museum of Natural History; Seattle: Uni- 
versity of Washington Press. 

Frisbie, Charlotte 

1989 In Memorium: Helen Heffron Roberts (1888- 

1985). Ethnomusicology 33(1 ):97-l 1 2. 
Hallowell, A. Irving 

1 926 Bear Ceremonialism in the Northern Hemisphere. 

American Anthropologist 28(1):2-1 73. 
Herzog, George 

1 935a The Present State of Research in the Fields of 

Primitive Music and Folksong in the United States. A 

Survey Made for the American Council of Learned 

Societies. Washington, DC. 
1935b Special Song Types in North American Indian 

Music. Zeitschrift fur vergleichende Musik- 

wissenschaft 3:22-33. 
1936 Research in Primitive and Folk Music in the United 

States: A Survey. Washington, DC: American Council 

of Learned Societies. 
Jochelson, Waldemar 

1 908 The Koryak. The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, 
vol. 6, pts. 1-2.. Memoirs of the American Museum 
of Natural History, 10. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New York: C 
.E. Stechert. Reprint: AMS Press, New York, 1975. 

1 91 0-26 The Yukaghir and the Yukaghirized Tungus. 
The Jesup North Pacific Expedition, vol. 9, pts. 1-3. 

Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, 1 3. Leiden: E.J. Brill; New York: C. E. Stechert. 
Reprint: AMS Press, New York, 1975. 
Keeling, Richard 

1 991 A Guide to Early Field Recordings (1900-1949) 
at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology. Berkeley and 
Los Angeles: University of California Press. 

1 992a Cry for Luck: Sacred Song and Speech among 
the Yurok, Hupa, and Karok Indians of Northwestern 
California. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of 
California Press. 

1992b Music and Culture History among the Yurok 
and Neighboring Tribes of Northwestern California. 
Journal of Anthropological Research 48(1 ):2 5-48. 

Kroeber, Alfred 

1 92 5 Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of 
American Ethnology Bulletin 78. Washington, DC. 
Reprint: Dover Publications, New York, 1 976. 

1936 Culture Element Distributions III: Area and Cli- 
max. University of California Publications in Ameri- 
can Archeology and Ethnology 37(3):1 01-1 6. 

NettI, Bruno 

1 954 North American Indian Musical Styles. Memoirs 

of the American Folklore Society, 45. Philadelphia. 
Sapir, Edward 

1910 Song Recitative in Paiute Mythology. Journal of 

American Folk-Lore 23(89):455-72. 
Seeger, Anthony, and Louise S. Spear 

1987 Early Field Recordings: A Catalogue of Cylinder 
Collections at the Indiana University Archives of 
Traditional Music. Bloomington: Indiana University 

Stumpf, Carl 

1886 LiederderBellakula-lndianer. Vierteljahrs- schrift 
fiJir Musikwissenschaft 2:405-26. Reprint: 
Sdmmelbande fur Vergleichende Musik-wissenschaft, 
vol. 1, Abhandlungen zur Verg-leichenden 
Musikwissenschaft, Carl Stumpf and Erich M. von 
Hornbostel, eds., pp. 87-103 (Munich, 1922). 



A Jesup E)ib!iograpinL) 

"{"raclcing the f ubiished and /\rchivai [_egacLj of the Jesup {Expedition 


This Jesup Bibliography was started in 1992 as a spe- 
cial component of the Jesup 2 activities at the Arctic 
Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution (see Fitzhugh 
and Krupnik, this volume). Originally, it was wanted 
merely as a technical resource, a shared database for 
listing and checking references for the various Jesup 2 
statements, flyers, memos, symposium papers, and pub- 
lications. As its size expanded through years of edit- 
ing and library research, the bibliography eventually 
took on a special value of its own. It emerged as a 
valuable chronicle of the many efforts related to the 
Jesup North Pacific Expedition (JNPE), as well as of the 
numerous later publications. We accordingly decided 
to add the bibliography to this review of the diverse 
legacies of the monumental JNPE project. 

The initial practical purpose of the bibliography is 
still very much reflected in its present structure. Instead 
of being a single alphabetically or chronologically ar- 
ranged list of publications and documentary sources 
related to Jesup Expedition activities, the bibliography 
is organized into 1 3 thematic sections: 

1 . Original volumes in the Jesup North Pacific Expedi- 
tion series, 1-1 1 {Memoirs of the American Museum 
of Natural History, 2-1 5), 1 898-1 930 

2. Translations or modified versions of the original 
JNPE volumes 

3. Manuscripts submitted to the JNPE series but not 
published within that series 

4. Contributions to the JNPE series advertised but 
never produced 

5. Contemporary accounts and reports of JNPE ac- 

6. Reports on and reviews of JNPE publications and 

7. JNPE-based or JNPE-related publications other than 
those published in the main JNPE series, 1897 to 

8. Major post-JNPE publications that were regarded 
as "extensions" of the main JNPE venture, 1 897-1 902 

9. Selected comparative publications by JNPE mem- 
bers based on data collected during and outside the 
JNPE surveys 

10. Unpublished manuscripts related to the JNPE 

1 1. Bibliographies; reviews of manuscript, museum, 
and archival collections related to JNPE activities 

12. Selected post- 1960 publications related to the 
JNPE and its participants 

13. Biographies, obituaries, and major personal es- 
says on JNPE participants. 

My work in compiling the Jesup Bibliography was 
greatly facilitated by the availability of several exten- 
sive bibliographical guides focused on the Arctic, Si- 
beria, or the Northwest Coast. Among them are Marie 
Tremaine, ed., Arctic Bibliography, vols. 1-12,1 953-65; 
Jakobson et al., Paleosiberian Peoples and Languages, 
1 957; and Wayne Suttles, ed.. Handbook of North Ameri- 
can Indians, vol. 7: Northwest Coast, 1990. Personal 
bibliographies are also available for most of the JNPE 
members (see, in section 11, Vinnikov 1935 on 
Waldemar Bogoras and, in section 1 3, Andrews et al. 
1 943 on Boas, Leechman 1 949 on Harlan I. Smith, and 
Nichols 1 940 on John R. Swanton). Still, many of the 
early contributions on JNPE activities are rather hard to 
trace. Some were published anonymously, and many 
others were written (or at least signed) by people who 


were not directly involved in the JNPE project. This group 
of references will obviously expand with further searches. 

A special aim of this Jesup Bibliography was to 
compile, as a single common legacy, the many contri- 
butions derived from or based on the JNPE's North 
American and Siberian surveys. This pattern was pio- 
neered by the original JNPE series, but the format of 
shared Siberian-North American contributions was nei- 
ther extended nor reproduced in further publications 
under the JNPE agenda, and no common bibliography 
of JNPE-based printed contributions was ever as- 
sembled. In fact, the format of shared publications was 
reestablished only 70 years after the expedition ended, 
through several fairly recent Soviet-North American 
symposia and through exhibit projects in the Arctic- 
North Pacific field. Examples (listed in section 12) in- 
clude Fitzhugh and Chaussonnet 1994; Fitzhugh and 
Crowell 1988; Gurvich 1981; Michael 1979; and 
Michael and VanStone 1983; see also Krupnik 1998. 

It comes as no surprise that several relevant Rus- 
sian papers from about 1910 through the 1 930s, scat- 
tered through various Russian periodicals, remain un- 
known to or unused by the many American students 
of Boasian ethnography. The same is even truer with 
regard to the numerous unpublished or archival JNPE 
resources. North American and Russian alike. The few 
recent historical reviews of JNPE efforts, whether by 
western or by Russian scholars, still tell basically only 
one side of the trans-Pacific story and rely on either 
North American or Russian resources. 

Despite years of effort, the Jesup Bibliography in its 
current version is neither a complete nor a finished prod- 
uct. At present, its Siberian material is far more com- 
prehensive than that for North America. I believe that 
this "Siberian bias" is a short-lived phenomenon, but it 
may be an additional asset for North American read- 
ers, who usually have better knowledge of and easier 
access to the North American JNPE resources than to 
the Siberian materials. 

Certain gaps in the present format of the Jesup Bib- 
liography were deliberately left to avoid interfering with 

individual research in progress. This is particularly true 
for the many manuscript collections of Franz Boas and 
his local North American collaborators (Hunt, Teit, Tate, 
Edenshaw, etc.). The Boas-Hunt archival legacy is a sub- 
ject of special study by Judith Berman, and it is cov- 
ered extensively in her paper in this volume. In the 
same category is Sergei Kan's ongoing project on the 
intellectual biography of Leo Shternberg, including in- 
teractions with Boas and with Shternberg's Russian 
friends, Bogoras and Jochelson (see Kan, this volume). 
As a result, section 10, Unpublished Manuscripts, is 
basically limited to the archival collections of the JNPE 
Russian participants, Waldemar Bogoras, Waldemar 
Jochelson, and Dina Jochelson-Brodsky. It will have to 
be expanded substantially, to include the unpublished 
records of several other JNPE team members, including 
Franz Boas himself. 

I also made a deliberate effort to keep section 12, 
Selected Post-1960 Publications Related to the JNPE 
and Its Participants, under a very tight limit. This sec- 
tion could be easily expanded into a much larger bib- 
liographical summary of its own. It is also a major work 
in progress that is currently being advanced by many 
individual researchers, both under and outside the main 
Jesup 2 effort. As time goes on, more old and new 
references will be added to the current list. The result 
may be an expanded and updated version of the Jesup 
Bibliography, but never a "final" one. Eventually, it will 
serve as an appropriate summary of the }esup 2 ef- 
forts for a new generation of 'jesup" researchers. 

1 . The. jesup North Pacific Expedition (JNPE) 
Series/ Memoirs of the American Museum of 
Natural History (AMm), 1898-1930 

The JNPE proceedings were initially produced as sepa- 
rate issues ("parts") organized into "volumes." They were 
later bound into numbered volumes, preserved in 
today's major library collections. Some of the original 
volume covers still show the series structure, as well 
as prices for individual issues. All of the original JNPE 
volumes were reprinted by AMS Press in 1975. 



JNPE, VOL. 1 : 1 898-1 900 {AMNH MEMOIRS. 2) 

Boas, Franz. The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. Pt. 1 
(1898), pp. 1-12. 

Boas, Franz. Facial Paintings of the Indians of Northern 
British Columbia. Pt. 1 (1898), pp. 1 3-24. 

Boas, Franz. The Mythology of the Bella Coola Indians. 
Pt. 2 (1898), pp. 25-127. 

Smith, Harlan I. The Archaeology of Lytton, British Co- 
lumbia. Pt. 3 (1899), pp. 129-61. 

Teit, James A. The Thompson Indians of British Colum- 
bia. Pt. 4 (1900), pp. 163-392; with conclusions by 
Franz Boas. 

Farrand, Livingston. Basketry Design of the Salish Indi- 
ans. Pt. 5 (1900), pp. 393-9. 

Smith, Harlan I. Archaeology of the Thompson River 
Region, British Columbia. Pt. 6 (1900), pp. 401-42. 

JNPE, VOL. 2: 1900-07 {AMNH MEMOIRS, 4) 

Farrand, Livingston. Traditions of the Chilcotin Indians. 
Pt. 1 (1900), pp. 1-54. 

Smith, Harlan I., and Gerard Fowke. Cairns of British 
Columbia and Washington. Pt. 2 (1901), pp. 55-75. 

Farrand, Livingston, and W. S. Kahnweiler. Traditions of 
the Quinault Indians. Pt. 3 (1 902), pp. 77-1 32. 

Smith, Harlan I. Shell-Heaps of the Lower Fraser River, 
British Columbia. Pt. 4 (1903), pp. 133-91; with a 
contribution by Franz Boas, On Crania of Lower Fraser 
River Indians (pp. 1 88-90). 

Teit, James A. The Lillooet Indians. Pt. 5 (1 906), pp. 1 92- 
300; with a contribution by Franz Boas, Notes on 
the Lillooet Indians (pp. 292-300). 

Smith, Harlan I. Archaeology of the Gulf of Georgia and 
Puget Sound. Pt. 6 (1907), pp. 301^41; with contri- 
butions by Franz Boas, On Petroglyphs of British Co- 
lumbia (pp. 324-6, 329, 330); Clubs Made of Bone 
of Whale, from Washington and British Columbia (pp. 

Teit, James A. The Shuswapp. Pt. 7 (1909), pp. 443- 
813; with contributions by Franz Boas, On the Bas- 
ketry of the Shuswap Indians (pp. 477-88); On the 
Basketry of the Chilkotin Indians (pp. 767-73). 

JNPE, VOL. 3; 1905 {AMNH MEMOIRS, 5) 

Boas, Franz, and George Hunt. KwakiutI Texts. 532 pp. 

JNPE, VOL. 4: 1 902 {AMNH MEMOIRS, 6) 
Laufer, Berthold. The Decorative Art of the AmurTribes. 
Pt. 1 (1902), pp. 1-79. 

JNPE, VOL. 5: 1905-09 {AMNH MEMOIRS, 8) 

Swanton, John R. Contributions to the Ethnology of 

the Haida. Pt. 1 (1905), pp. 1-300. 
Boas, Franz. The KwakiutI of Vancouver Island. Pt. 2 

(1909), pp. 301-522. 

JNPE, VOL. 6: 1 908 {AMNH MEMOIRS, 1 0) 

Jochelson, Waldemar. The Koryak (1908). Pt. 1: Reli- 
gion and Myths, pp. 13-382; pt. 2: Material Culture 
and Social Organization, pp. 383-842; with a con- 
tribution by Franz Boas [not acknowledged in the 
text]. Ornamentation of Dress, Bags and Baskets, Rugs, 
Drawings and Writing (pp. 679-723). 

JNPE, VOL. 7: 1 904-09 {AMNH MEMOIRS. 1 1 ) 
Bogoras Waldemar. The Chukchee. Pt. 1 (1904): Mate- 
rial Culture, pp. 1-276; pt. 2 (1907): Religion, pp. 
277-536; pt. 3 (1 909): Social Organization, pp. 537- 

JNPE VOL. 8: 1910-13 {AMNH MEMOIRS, 1 2) 
Bogoras, Waldemar. Chukchee Mythology. Pt. 1 (1 910), 
pp. 1-197. 

Teit, James A. Mythology of the Thompson Indians. Pt. 

2 (1912), pp. 199^16. 
Bogoras, Waldemar. The Eskimo of Siberia. Pt. 3 (1 91 3), 

pp. 417-56. 

JNPE, VOL. 9: 1910-26 {AMNH MEMOIRS, 13) 
Jochelson, Waldemar. The Yukaghirand the Yukaghirized 
Tungus. Pts. 1 -3 (untitled): pt. 1 [The Land, the Tribe, 
and Social Life] (1910), pp. 1-133; pt. 2 [Religion, 
Folklore, Language] (1924), pp. 135-342; pt. 3 [Ma- 
terial Culture] (1926), pp. 343^69. 

JNPE, VOL. 1 0: 1 906-€8 {AMNH MEMOIRS, 1 4) 

Boas, Franz, and George Hunt. KwakiutI Texts (Second 

Series). Pt. 1 (1906), pp. 1-269. 
Swanton, John R. Haida Texts, Masset Dialect. Pt. 2 

(1908), pp. 273-812. 
JNPE, VOL. 11: 1 930 {AMNH MEMOIRS 1 5) 

Oetteking, Bruno. Craniology of the North Pacific Coast. 
Pt. 1 (1 930). 391 pp. text, 93 pp. tables, xii pp. plates. 

2. Translations or Modified Versions of the 
Original JA/PEVolumes 


1 934 ChukchKJhe Chukchee). Pt. 1 . Leningrad: Institut 
narodov Severa [Russian trans, of JNPE, vol. 7, Intro- 
duction and pt. 3, 1 909; rev.]. 

1939 Chukchi. Religiia (The Chukchee. Religion). 
Leningrad: Institut narodov Severa [Russian trans, of 
JNPE, vol. 7, pt. 2, 1907; rev.]. 

1 991 Material'naia kui'tura chukchei (The Chukchee. 
Material culture). Moscow: Nauka [Russian trans, of 
JNPE, vol. 7, pt. 1, 1904; rev.]. 

1997 Kohaki. Material'naia kui'tura i sotsial'naia 
organizatsiia(The Koryak. Material culture and social 



organization). St. Petersburg: Nauka [Russian trans, 
of JNPE, vol. 6, pt. 2, 1908]. 
In press lukagiry i iukaginzirovannye tungusy (The 
Yukaghir and the yukaghirized Tungus). Vladimir Kh. 
Ivanov-Unarov and Zinaida Ivanova, eds. Yakutsk: 
Sapipolis [Russian trans, of JNPE, vol. 9, pts. 1-3, 

3. Manuscripts Submitted to the J/VPE Series 
but Not Published within That Series 


n.d. [On the Anthropometry of the Peoples of North- 
east Siberia] (s.a.). 1 1 8 pp., with tables. English manu- 
script prepared for publication as JNPE, vol. 11, pt. 
2; on file at the Department of Anthropology, AMNH; 
copies at the Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian In- 
stitution; Department of Anthropology, University of 
Tennessee, Knoxville. See announcement: jNPE, vol. 
11, pt. 1 , cover page (listed as Dina B. Jochelson. 
Anthropometry of Sibena); Waldemar Jochelson. Ameri- 
can Anthropologist 32(2): 377 (1 930). 


n.d. The Social Organization of the Cilyak. Manuscript 
submitted for publication as JNPE, vol. 4, pt. 2. 343 
pp. Original copy on file at the Department of An- 
thropology, AMNH; Russian version published in in- 
dividual chapters in Lev Shternberg. Ciliaki, orochi, 
gol'dy, negidal'tsy, ainy (The Cilyak, Oroch, Col'd, 
Negidal, and Ainu). Ian P. Al'kor (Koshkin), ed. 
Khabarovsk: Dal'giz, 1933. First advertised as: Leo 
Sternberg, Tribes of the Amur River, JNPE, vol.4, pt. 

I , 1913 (cover announcement for vol. 4, pt.2 pub- 
lished in JNPE, vol. 8, 1 91 3). Recent publication: Lev 
Shternberg, The Social Organization of the Cilyak, 
Bruce Crant, ed.. Anthropological Papers of the Ameri- 
can Museum of Natural History, 82 (New York, 1 999) 
(see Kan, this volume). 

4. Contributions to the J^PE Series Adver- 
tised but Never Produced 


n.d. Summary and Final Results [of the Jesup North 
Pacific Expedition]. Advertised as JNPE, vol. 12 (see 
Boas 1905:94. section 5, this chapter; JNPE, vol. 5, 
pt. 1 , cover), or as JNPE, vol. 1 1 , pt. 3 (see JNPE, vol. 

I I , pt. 1 ). 


n.d. The Kamchadal. Advertised as JNPE, vol. 6, pt. 3 
(see Boas 1905:94; JNPE, vol. 5, pt. 1, cover). 


n.d. The Cold. Advertised as JNPE, vol. 4, pt. 2 (see 
Boas 1905:94; JNPE vol. 5, pt. 1, cover). 

5. Contemporary Accounts and Reports of 
JNPE activities 


1900 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. Departure of 
Two of Its Members for Northeastern Asia. American 
Museum Journal 1 (2): 30-1 . 

1901 Recent Work of the Department of Anthropol- 
ogy. American Museum Journal 1(1 2): 164-6. 


1897 Proposed Explorations on the Coasts of the 
North Pacific Ocean. Science, n.s. 5(1 1 6):455-7 [anony- 
mous; presumably written by Boas]. 

1 902 Recent Ethnological Work of the Museum. Ameri- 
can Museum Journal 2(7):63-8 [presumably written 
by Boas; pp. 66-8 on the JNPE]. 


1 897 The Jesup Expedition to the North Pacific Coast. 
Sc/ence, n.s. 6(1 45):535-8. 

1897 Die Jesup-Boas-Expedition nach Nordwest- 
Amerika. Globus 21 : 342. 

1 898 Jesup Expedition nach der nordpazifischen Kuste 
[letter, May 27]. In Verhandlungen der Berliner 
Cesellschaft fur Anthropologie, Ethnologie und 
Urgeschichte, 30. Pp. 257-8. 

1900 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. In 
Verhandlungen des 7. Internationalen Ceographen- 
Kongresses in Berlin, 1899. Pp. 678-85. 

1 900 Ethnographical Album of the North Pacific Coasts 
of America and Asia. Jesup North Pacific Expedition, 
pt. 1 . 5 pp., 28 plates. New York: American Museum 
of Natural History. 

1 900 Progress of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition. 
American Museum Journal 1 (4):60-2. 

1901 Die Jesup Nordpacifische Expedition. In 
Verhandlungen der Cesellschaft fur die Erdkunde zu 
Berlin, 28. Pp. 356-9. 

1 902 [The Development of the American Museum of 
Natural History]. Department of Anthropology. Ameri- 
can Museum Journal liSyAV-SS UNPE activities, 1 897- 
1902, p. 52]. 

1903 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. American 
Museum Journal 3(5):73-l 1 9. 

1905 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. In Interna- 
tional Congress of Americanists, 1 3th Session, Held in 
New York in 1902. Pp. 91-100. Easton, PA: 

1908 Die Nordpacifische Jesup-Expedition. Inter- 



nationale Wochenschhft fur Wissenschaft, Kunst and 
Technik 2(41): 129 1-306. 
1910 Die Resultate der Jesup-Expedition. In Inter- 
nationalerAmehkanisten-Kongress, 16. Tagung, Wien 
1908. Erste Hdlfte. Pp. 3-18. Vienna and Leipzig: A. 
Hartleben's Verlag [for translation, see the appendix 
to Fitzhugh and Krupnik, this volume]. 


1900 O Sibirskom Poliarnom Otdele Severo- 
Tikhookeanskoi Ekspeditsii (On the Siberian polar 
section of the North Pacific Expedition). Zhivaia starina 
10(l-2):295-6 [letter from San Francisco, April 16/ 
3, 1900]. St. Petersburg. 


1 897 Anthropology at the Toronto Meeting of the 
British Association (for the Advancement of Science). 
A Brief Summary of Prof. F. W. Putnam's Paper "The 
Jesup Expedition to the North Pacific Coast." Science, 


1 899 The Indians of Western Washington. Science, n.s. 


1899 Archaeological Investigations on the Amoor 
River. Science, n.s. 9(224):539^1 . 

1 906 Exploration of the Lower Amur Valley. American 
Anthropologist, n.s. 8(2):276-97. 


1900 The Jesup North Pacific Expedition. American 
Museum Journal 1(1):9-10. 


1 898 Annual Report of the President for the Year 1 897. 
The American Museum of Natural History, New York 
[JNPE activities, pp. 1 5-16, with a map of "Field of 
Proposed Operations"; see Fig. 3, this volume]. 

1 899 Annual Report of the President for the Year 1 898 
[JNPE activities, pp. 1 5-16]. 

1 900 Annual Report of the President for the Year 1 899 
UNPE activities, p. 1 3]. 

1901 Annual Report of the President for the Year 1900 
UNPE activities, p. 1 3]. 

1 902 Annual Report of the President for the Year 1 90 1 
UNPE activities, pp. 1 9-20]. 

1 903 Annual Report